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During the 19th century the term Orient described the exotic lands of the East, from Northern Africa to Asia. Rather than describing a single geographic or cultural representation, the term Orient became a metaphor of the unknown. When Napoleon Bonaparte marched his French army across Egypt in 1798, only to be driven out by the British, the focus of European attention upon these mysterious lands sparked the 19th century's fascination of all things "Eastern." The western world's attraction to these exotic lands was aided by travel improvements, such as the spread of the railroad and the opening of the Suez Canal, allowing artists to venture out and witness these unknown ancient worlds. A window upon the mysterious Eastern world was opened to the West through compelling paintings by artists who would become know as "Orientalists." Narrated by Claire Dodin, this eye-opening documentary focuses on Orientalist paintings from the 19th century, focusing especially on the artists Jean-Leone Gerome, Edwin Lord Weeks, and Arthur Frederick Bridgeman, while also including paintings by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Rudolf Ernst, John Frederick Goodall, Ludwig Deutsch, Charles Theodore Frere, Gustave Achille Guillaumet, Charles Sprague Pearce, Eugene Delacroix, Gustave Moreau, Edward Lear, Leon Belly, Gustave Boulanger, Franz Xavier Winterhalter, Alexandre Cabanel, John Frederick Lewis, and Edward John Poynter.