In the 18th and 19th centuries, as Europeans began to conquer parts of North Africa and the Levant, an interest in Middle Eastern culture and architecture began to flourish. This interest spawned a genre of literary works and paintings that became known as Orientalism .  A proliferation of both Oriental fiction and travel writing occurred during the early modern period and many of these works were lavishly illustrated with engravings of every day scenes of Oriental lifestyles, including scenes of market places and market trade.  Some of these works were propaganda designed to justify European imperialism in the East, however many artists relied heavily on their everyday experiences for inspiration in their artworks.  For example, Charles D'Oyly , who was born in India, published the Antiquities of Dacca featuring a series of 15 engraved plates of Dacca [now Dhaka, Bangladesh] featuring scenes of markets, commerce, buildings and streetscapes.  Notable artists in the Orientalist genre include: Jean-Léon Gérôme Delacroix (1824–1904), Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps (1803–1860), Frederic Leighton (1830-1896), Eugène Alexis Girardet 1853-1907 and William Holman Hunt (1827–1910) who all found inspiration in Oriental street scenes, trading and commerce.