Japonism & Posters of the Belle Epoque

September 13, 2016 § Leave a comment

If you didn’t catch last spring’s Looking East: How Japan Inspired Monet, Van Gogh and other Western Artists‘ at the Asian Art Museum, please visit the show online.

The AAM did a great job explaining and showcasing, in detail, the way Japanese art influenced Western painters, printmakers, and more. Both the 1862 International Exposition in London and the 1867 International Exposition in Paris showcased Japanese fine and decorative arts bringing this hitherto unknown style to the forefront of Western consciousness. A new form of artistic expression, Japonisme, was created and influenced everything from the great Impressionist to the artists of the Belle Epoque.

Another source of inspiration for the artist of the day was an exhibit in 1890 at L’École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The ukiyo-e woodblock prints with their crisp colors and use of negative space were in stark contrast to the intricately detailed paintings created by Western masters. These influences brought a sense of modernity and a fresh perspective to French, English, and American artists alike.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 11.33.48

The Century: July, by Charles Woodbury, 1895.

In this show, the Asian Art Museum used this Charles Woodbury poster as the cover of their program, his influences are immediately recognizable as is the blending of Eastern and western techniques. The show also featured the work of Eugene Grasset and Will Bradley, two of VEPCA’s favorites.

To learn more about Japonisme and it’s influence on Western artist, take a look at these great sources:

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