Japan had been isolated from the rest of the world throughout the Edo period. European contact was strictly narrow to a small Dutch commune referred to as Dejima in Nagasaki. However, there was a dramatic change in this with the restoration of Meiji in the 19th century latter year’s .Owing to Japan foreign trade re-opening there was an invasion of Western ideas and civilization in Japan. As a result, there was a flow of Japanese art into France, rest of Europe along with America. Due to this, the influence of this exposure on the West was referred to as Japonism. In a nutshell, Japonism is defined as the fashion and aesthetics influence that Japanese has on the Western way of life. On the contrast, Japonism in French means a particular technique of French that was largely expressed in the field of fine arts starting from 1864. The influence of Japonism on the French art is going to be outlined in terms of impressionism and expressionism.
The ending of the 200 years of full seclusion in actual fact had an impact in helping France access prosperity of visual information from the wonderful Japanese art customs. From here, the ideas of color, composition and design had found their way in the French art. All one requires observing is an illustrious painting by Monet, Degas, Whistler, or Van Gogh, a print done by Toulouse-Lautrec, a glass vase of Art Nouveau or else a comb that is polished face by face by means of its Japanese foundation so as to realize how France has received inspiration since the dawn of these ideas. This as well came with an abstract calligraphy growth associated with Abstract Expressionism.
Certainly, impressionism is the most famous movement of French painting of all time. Impressionism as a term was conceived by Louis Leroy following the visit of the first exposition of Impressionist painting in 1874. There was no acknowledgement of Impressionism as a significant painting technique by critics of art, collectors or the public. Therefore, majority of impressionist painters encountered financial hardships. In terms of Impressionism, Japonism has had numerous impacts on the French art. In due course, Impressionism tore all the rules in relation to naturalism and realism in the field of painting. Due to this, it paved way to modern Expressionism and Cubism styles. It has sustained to put forth an important pressure on painting in the present day.
Japanese art influence on the West arises in diverse ways. Japanese woodblock prints, kimonos along with screens are merged to make up some of the impressionist paintings. Large eyes, spare lines and poses characterizing those present in Japanese wood block art are present in other impressionist paintings. The ukiyo-e print that was an object of Japanese culture was among the primary medium of this influence. With the absence of perspective, the ukiyo-e spotless lines together with leveled color sections swayed majority of French artists. Impressionism, Art Nouveau and Modernism each of them pulled out motivation from the traditional art of Japanese. Examples of artists like Hokusai and Utamaro were destined to stir a deep and long-term outcome on the future of French art due to works done by them. In cooperation of Japonism by France transformed the aesthetic of French through the artists who in cooperated Japonisme into paintings of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists of France hence changing the art history.
The influence of Japan on the French art still surpassed the effect of woodblock prints on coloring and the design of graphics. A print that is dated back to 1831 done by Katsushika Hokusai originating as of his series named Thirty six Views of Mount Fuji displays the magnificent mountain in the backdrop along with a man who is fishing in the forefront. There is a recurrence of the two essentials in form of details within an inkstand that is adorned in a complex way by the use of silver and cloisonné enamels prepared in 1876 by Frederic Boucheron. Additional illustrations of arts of ornamentation consist of electric-blue glass vase that is of a fan form. Along with a complex desk-set letter stand, pen tray and the same fashioned in glass with grapevine motif done in metal.
The other parts of the exhibition are structured in relation to theme beginning with that of ladies. Meditative Painting mood by French and European women holding titles like “Meditation” together with “Reverie” are revealed to have complements in past Japanese prints of courtesans appearing similarly pensive frequently resting at stumpy inscription tables. This work of art was in fact observed as corresponding in French owing to how majority of French women were getting involved in arts, letters and global affairs matter. On the other hand, these courtesans had the highest likelihood of love letters composition in comparison to demand drafts for womanly suffrage. In their case, education that is more liberal came afterward.
The city’s life discloses that France artists tried to get hold of the urban Paris’ strength of mind. Portrayal of Edo life by Japanese art greatly overwhelmed them. In upholding the theme of sports as similar to that of a racing track print, a French placard meant for an aperitif that was advertised like a healing stimulant portrays a bicycling contest while the contestants seize a sharp corner. This illustrates in what way the artist, Edouard Vuillard, digested the techniques he learned from the Japanese prints in characterization of a bold work of art, slanted viewpoint together with the use of negative space in white left areas.
French artists also observed appearance of Japanese as greatly in harmony with natural world, something they were hopeful in imitating. The category of nature illustrates how this progress played a role in boosting the arts of decoration whose foundation was in the increase as a category of somber art becoming a chief element of Art Nouveau. French accepted motifs borrowed from Japan were cats together with tigers, in addition to birds at rest or in complete flight. An earthenware plate adorned by the use of a two bird’s picture, is illustrated to be intimately modeled lying on a print credited to Katsukawa Shunsho as of a century in advance as well as featuring a spherical design of cranes plus an exceptional branch.
The influence of the art of the Japanese was supplemented to everything that the impressionists had succeeded from their antecedents entailing that this was one among the reasons for their authenticity. Monet is fine identified for coming up with a water-lily pool of Japanese fashion in his Giverny based garden. There is no single Japonism display that would stand comprehensive exclusive of a number of the paintings he came up with of the pond together with the section of “Looking East ”Monet started to assemble Japanese wood piece prints between 1864-65.They had a great impact on his art that turned out evident. As soon as Monet let his water garden at Giverny known to the public, his whole idea was inspired by the art of the Japanese where it was a “floating world” as well. The emerald, humpbacked overpass that was above the water lily pool gives the impression of having had archetype of Japanese nature.
In spite of in cooperating Japonism in his work of art, Monet was left a deeply Western visual artist. He is viewed as a meticulous materialist who acts in response in the most optimistic, intense way towards the compactness and mass of oil paint that is dense. His objective was aimed at endowing it with lightness so as to irradiate it by means of his vision’s energy therefore exposing the materials’ dormant vigor.
Most French impressionistic artists were influenced and re-energized by Japanese ukiyo-e that meant the pictures of the floating world hence staging numerous effects linked to the French art. For example, artist Edgar Degas’ painting technique was greatly influenced by Japanese ukiyo-e. He was in the midst of the artists who pioneered in bringing together Japanese art in France. Though he stayed away from displaying japoneries outlining kimonos clothed models and striking exhibit of oriental props, this evolution in his painting style saw him come up with figures that are asymmetrically positioned on a diagonal having partitions. By studying Hokusai’s Manga, this led him to observing his individual world in a more clear way. Another French artist whose work of art reflects much of Japonism influence is Paul Gauguin. He developed styles that were different having a wide possibilities range that resulted from the art of the Japanese. In his painting work, he reflects aspects of admiration together with the Japanese line and flat color approach of painting. Also in his works of art, Gauguin also came to a realization that majority of ukiyo-e prints do not show shadows. Therefore, he does away with the shadows in his painting and the color becomes more communicative.
Vincent Van Gogh is another impressionist French artist whose work of art was widely influenced by Japonism hence greatly influencing the French art. Through the appreciation of impressionism, he developed his original intense color. His work came to have much influence stemming from Japanese ukiyo-e while in Paris. Predominantly, this was the prints of Hiroshige and Hokusai’s Manga albums. He tried to acquire an identity similar to that of Japanese artists. In this way, he used a reed pen in his drawings and also made an attempt on the Japanese theory of an artists’ community that would jointly assist one another.
An additional French artist whose work is largely influenced by Japonism is Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. He had an attraction to Japanese works of art. Due to this interest he studied the work of Hokusai, Utamaro, and Harunobu. Lautrec has played an instrumental role in the revolution of construction of posters by adopting the Japanese woodcut compositional devices. His painting style revolutionized to bold, flat and filled with movement since he made a test with lithographic technique. Crachis is a Japonism method that he explored. This involved the applying of a fine ink spray on top of a stone that is of lithographic nature by use of a toothbrush. Apart from posters, he printed theater programs along with menu cards as well. In this way, a difference between fine and commercial work was hard to make. Surely, the in cooperation of the Japanese work by Lautrec saw Japonism play a huge role in the French art arena.