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The ‘Oriental Obsession’ begins in the early sixteenth century with Cardinal Wolsey waiting two years for the delivery of sixty rare Turkey carpets from Venice, and ends in the age of the great exhibitions and emporia on both sides of the Atlantic, before and after 1900, when Islamic objects were seen, appreciated, and bought by millions of the public. The book is concerned with a subject which has not been treated before – the history over four centuries of Islamic artistic traditions and European ideas of Islam as they affected the visual arts of the west and particularly the English-speaking peoples. Studies of individual aspects have been made previously, but this is the first time that an attempt has been made to consider the subject as a whole. The geographical purview extends from Moorish Spain in the west to British India in the east and, besides architecture, the activities that are involved include painting, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, furniture and bookcrafts.