BERN.- Zentrum Paul Klee presents today In Search of the Orient. From Bellini to Klee, on view through May 24, 2009. This exhibition is the first of a three-part series on the Orient. In Search of the Orient takes a glance back in time and invites visitors to journey from Bern to Tunisia and Egypt, Morocco and Jerusalem. It puts Paul Klee’s travels to Tunisia and Egypt into historical perspective, and explores how Europeans have viewed the Orient from the Middle Ages through to the 20th century. In terms of commerce and art, Venice once bridged the divide between the cultures of East and West. One of the exhibition’s highlights from this period is the portrait of Sultan Mehmet II painted by Gentile Bellini in 1480; it is here courtesy of the National Gallery in London. Other artists featured include Giovanni Antonio Guardi, Jean-Etienne Liotard, Eugène Delacroix, Eugène Fromentin, Gustave Bauernfeind, Frederic Lord Leighton and John Frederick Lewis, as well as Charles Camoin, Henri Matisse and Wassily Kandinsky. The fascination and attraction which the Orient exerted on Europe’s painters prepares the visitor for the section of the exhibition concentrating on Klee, specifically the famous trips he made to Tunisia in the spring of 1914 and to Egypt in the winter of 1928/1929. Klee’s works are complemented by the exceptional pictures painted by his travel companions, August Macke and Louis Moilliet, as well as by photographs, postcards and written material affording a thrilling insight into the three artists’ interaction with Arab and Islamic culture. In Search of the Orient incorporates a special display of Islamic art featuring historical exhibits and artworks originating from the era when Islamic culture and science was at its zenith. The exhibition also takes a look at Orientalism: a treasure trove in its own right – with important loans from Switzerland, Berlin, Budapest, Paris, Venice and Vienna – this takes the visitor back to the 19th century and to that period’s perception of the Orient; it also brings to life Klee’s interest in this topic. The exhibition is curated in association with the Westfälisches Landsmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster, Germany.