Batik, or resist-dye, is an ancient craft often associated with Indonesia, but practiced in regions throughout Africa and Asia. It became popular in United States in the 1910s and 20s, with artists such as Arthur Crisp, Pieter Mijer, and Lydia Bush-Brown attracting national attention. These artists worked in the traditional manner, painting paraffin and beeswax on their cloth to create a resist, but expanded the traditional design vocabulary to include patterns inspired by contemporary design and painterly subjects such as landscapes and still lifes. Bush-Brown, the daughter of artists Henry Kirke Brown and Margaret Lesley, is best known for her resist-dye illustrations of landscapes inspired by her travels in Mexico, Greece, Egypt, the Middle East, and other regions. This piece, a pastoral landscape with a large olive tree flanked by a shepherd and grazing goats, was inspired by her travels in Syria. The border pattern is clearly inspired by the pointed arches characteristic of Islamic architecture.

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