Japonisme in Britain: Whistler, Menpes, Henry, Hornel and Ninteenth-Century Japan
ISBN 13: 9780415296861
Publisher: Curzon Pr
Publication Date: 2003
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Japan held a profound fascination for Western artists in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The influence of Japanese art is a phenomenon that is now called Japonisme, and it spread widely throughout Western art. Artists introduced Japanese objects and details from Japanese art into their work. They assimilated elements of Japanese art and from these they formed their own style: it was an immense source of inspiration for European artists such as Claude Monet.
This book explores Japanese influences on British Art and focus on four artists working in Britain: the American James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), the Australian Mortimer Menpes (1855-1938), and two artists from the group known as the Glasgow Boys, George Henry (1858-1934) and Edward Atkinson Hornel (1864-1933). Whistler was one of the earliest figures to incorporate Japanese elements into his art, but he never visited Japan. Menpes visited the country and learned Japanese artistic methods from a Japanese artist, whilst Henry andHornel visited Japan and responded to Japanese photography mass-produced for foreign market.
Just at the time Europe started to find inspiration in Japanese art, European civilization surged into Japan. The opening of Japan was a process of major political, economic and social change that took place rapidly after the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1854. Learning Western art was considered part of the modernization of Japan, which eventually lead to the establishment of new genre, Yoga. Ono examines this symmetry in this timely volume, to be published in the centenary year of Whistler's death.
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