|In addition to the views of sunlit pastoral landscapes in Europe, the Billings collected several views of the Near East, exhibiting the taste of their era for “orientalism”.
Their selections display a consistent interest in landscape, rather than anecdote or exotic sensuality. It is that emphasis on the beauties of landscape which unites those exotic scenes with the rest of the art collection. Two small but expansive views of the desert sky near Cairo, by the French artist C.T. Frère, are emblematic of the exotic scenes.
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