The subjects of landscape and desert challenged European artists to depict new spaces and colours. The open horizons, the harshness of the light and the fine degradations of the sand-coloured palette were a new world for European painters.
Views of ancient remains and/or the desert are some of more notable depictions in Orientalist landscapes. This genre plays an important role for artists, and one reason for this is seen in their treatment of the light, which is so different from that in Europe, and also the development of the landscape as a genre in romanticism. Some painters enlarged their images and made panoramic views; others tried to depict the effects of the light and shadow of the desert light. While the early works, mostly engravings, are city views that show a taste for detail, the later works show the importance of light and the rich and free palette of painters of the period. Some of the landscapes were inspired by engravings or photographs, while others were depicted in situ.