Nineteenth-century European fascination with the Middle East was spurred, in part, by Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 and by the rise of the French and British empires. Artists increasingly traveled to the Middle East and North Africa, both as tourists and as documentarians, bringing back images and souvenirs from foreign lands ranging from Turkey to Morocco. The cultures were variously perceived as luxurious and indolent, violent and backward looking. It was widely, if erroneously, believed that the Holy Land had not changed since biblical times, and religious subjects took on a new prominence and seeming authenticity. The appropriation of Middle Eastern subjects and settings is commonly called “orientalism.” The use of the term, whose root means “east,” is predicated on the assumption that Europe was the center of the world.