Chromolithographs of belly dancers
Before the 19 th century color was added by hand on printed illustrations which made it an expensive procedure. Color lithography was a cheap procedure and allowed the production of color illustrated works on a large scale. Cassas accompanied the french ambassador Choiseul-Gouffier on his mission to Constantinople in 1784 but remained there only a few weeks. From the end of 1784 to 1787 he travelled to Egypt and Syria at Choiseul-Gouffier's expense. The drawings he made there include studies of costumes, architectural pieces, monuments, views, processions, scenes from daily life and animals. While he was in Egypt Cassas drew the antiquities of Alexandria, the pyramids of Giza, and the mosques of Cairo. In Syria, Cassas made numerous drawings of Palmyra and in Lebanon he produced another series illustrating Baalbec.
Le Compte de Choiseul-Gouffier (1784-92) worked to strengthening the Franco-Ottoman relationship, and commissioned pictures of the city of Istanbul. France remained the Ottoman Empire's most dedicated ally and the Sultan decorated his Topkapi palace accordingly. Some of his wives had to adapt the french look and french manners to please the Pacha. An example of this is illustrated in the work of Thomas Allom, also on display in the Belly dance museum
Louis-Francois Cassas lived and worked at the French embassy during the years 1784 and 1786. He produced one of the most beautiful eighteenth century illustrated books on the Middle East.
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Printed on glossy paper.