AskDefine | Define exoticism

Dictionary Definition

exoticism n : the quality of being exotic; "he loved the exoticism of Egypt" [syn: exoticness, exotism]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The state of being exotic


The state of being exotic

Extensive Definition

Exoticism (from 'exotic') is a trend in art and design, influenced by some ethnic groups or civilizations since the late 19th-century. In music exoticism is a genre in which the rhythms, melodies, or instrumentation are designed to evoke the atmosphere of far-off lands or ancient times (e.g. Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé and Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra, Debussy's Syrinx for Flute Solo or Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio espagnol). Like orientalist subjects in 19th century painting, exoticism in the decorative arts and interior decoration was associated with fantasies of opulence.
Exoticism, by definition, is "the charm of the unfamiliar." Scholar Alden Jones defines exoticism in art and literature as the representation of one culture for consumption by another. An archetypical example is the artist and writer Paul Gauguin and his representations of Tahitian people and landscapes for a French audience.

See also


exoticism in German: Exotismus
exoticism in Spanish: Exotismo
exoticism in French: Exotisme
exoticism in Dutch: Exotisme
exoticism in Turkish: Egzotizm
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