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‘‘THE EFFECTS OF THE ARRIVAL OF JAPANESE PRINTS ON

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‘‘THEEFFECTS OF THE ARRIVAL OF JAPANESE PRINTS ON IMPRESSIONISM’’

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Duringthe 19th century, French artists based in Paris formed an artmovement known as Impressionism which composed the use of small,tiny, but observable brush strokes. Unlike the previous performers,these artists introduced a new form of an exhibition in which theyexhibited their works independently. Sincepeople like their shows, this broughtthe limelight amid rivalry and criticism from the conventional artcommunity which was based in France as well. Despite the developmentof Impressionism in France and England, this Western art waslater influencedby the Japanese art and fashion in a transition known as Japonism.For example, during the 1860’s, ukiyo-e was one of the most famousJapanese woodblocks prints which influenced a lot of Westernimpressionists. Cubism and Art Nouveau are some of the other artmaterials which influenced the movement of impressionism. Althoughthere were many impressionists during this era, Claude Monet, PaulGauguin, and Cezanne are some of the most celebrated. All theseimpressionist artists were influenced differently by the Japanesearts. For example, Monet confessed that Ukiyo-e inspired most of hiswood prints. Relatively, Cezanne’s painting of Mt. Saint Victoirewasgreatly influencedby Japan’s Hokusai’s series. This influence recurred to manyother English and French impressionists as the praised Japan’ssimplicity form of art.

Thepaper will discuss the impact of the Japanese art on the Western artmovement known as Impressionism focusing on three mainimpressionists Monet, Cezanne, and Gauguin.

JaponismOverview

Artwas an everyday activity in France during the 19th century sincedifferent forms of indigenous art existed. Impressionism is one ofthe most famous art movements which existed during this era. Mostof the artists involved in this groupused small brushes to come up with paintings which were relativelyvisible. Their independent nature of presentation brought them to thelimelight during the 1870’s. Some of the most famous impressionistswere Monet, Gauguin, and Cezanne1.These artists were to be later influenced by the Japanese arts afterJapan opened its port to trade with Western countries. Developmentof the free trade ledto the introduction of Japanese curio shops in Paris France whichattracted many French art-lovers. Japonism is the influence of theJapanese arts on the French artists. Ukiyo-e is one of the mostfamous Japanese woodblock prints which influenced the Frenchimpressionists2.Notably, Japonism mainly affectedto French artists starting to do woodworks as well unlike in the pastwhen they just focused on paintings using their tiny brushes.

Theeffect of Japonism on Monet (French Impressionist)

Theintroduction of Japanese art in France had significant effects onMonet as one of the most famousImpressionistsduring that time. Firstly, Monet stopped focusing on his paintingsand started collecting Japanese wood-works. After the introduction ofthe Japanese art in France, curios shops wereopenedin Paris where the arts could bebought.Thecurio shops affectedthe performance of the impressionist Monet since he had developed anew hobby which was the collection of woodblocks from Japan3.Maybe he was just taking his time off impressionism movement so thathe could study the Japan art and come up with something better.Apparently, this also affectedto him praising the Japanese art. In different occasions, Monet wasquoted stating that the Japanese arts were calmand straightforward to understand.

Secondly,Japonism effectedto Monet, one of the impressionists borrowing ideas from the Japaneseworks in his later art materials. As noted before, impressionistswere used to tiny brushes while making their paintings while theJapanese focused on wood blocks prints. However, after theintroduction of the Japanese prints in Paris, France, artists such asMoet decided to try out the new form of art. Subsequently,this ledto the development of one of his most successful works known as TheWaterlily Pond. Moet’s art wasmainly inspiredby a Japanese woodblock print called Inside KameidoTenjin Shrine madeby an artist called Utagawa Hiroshige. These two art materials hadthe same theme of ‘floating world.’ Since Monet had focused onJapan art more and ignore their native paintings, the introduction ofthe Japanese art affected on impressionism negatively as wellsince the fame of the art reduced for a moment4.

Theeffect of Japonism on Gauguin (French Impressionist)

PaulGauguin is another famous French artist who was under theimpressionist movement. Like many other impressionists, him too wasgreatly influencedby the introduction of art from Japan in France. The main effect ofJaponism on impressionist like Gauguin is the invention of otherstyles. Japan art was hugely influential that most impressionistsdecided to borrow ideas from their woodblock paintings. Afterstudying the arts from Japan, Gauguin got carried away and decided tocome up with a new idea adapted from the different art. Gauguin’snew ideas ledto the introduction of Symbolism form of art. Initially, theimpressionists focused on communicating to the world in generalthrough their paintings, while this kind of art would focus onexpressing personal feelings5.Seemingly, the Japan prints had deeper meanings, unlike the Frenchpaintings which were made by the Impressionists. So as to match theJapanese, Gauguin decided to start this form of art which wouldcommunicate the people’s inner feelings.

It is fair to state that the Japan art culture influenced theimpressionist positively as well by broadening their thinking. It isevident that Paul Gauguin came up with Symbolism form of art afterstudying the Japan art. Since the new art form was much better, thismeans that it affectedto the French art positively. The Impressionists were able to earnmore fans and customers who purchased their paintings since therewere producing much better works. Regarding this, the Japan woodblockart culture effected to the growth of the impressionism. If theynever introduced this art in Paris, Impressionism would have lackedbehind regarding ideas forcing it to have a short shelf-life.

Theeffect of Japonism on Cezanne (French Impressionist)

Justlike Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin, Paul Cezanne too was influencedby the Japan Art. Firstly, after the introduction of the Japan Art,the impressionist started complicating their paintings. Itmeansthat art from Japan is attached to the complication of theimpressionism. Unlike in the past when they made simple pictures,Mt. Saint Victoire which is Cezanne’s most successful painting waspainted in various angles6.He spends most of the day during his old days to come up with theart. So as to confirm that the Japanese art influenced this, it isreadily observable that the painting was influenced by Mt. Fuji byHokusai. Additionally, Japan’s art led to increasing inimpressionism fan base. Although art in France was advanced as well,the Japanese art was much ahead, and they had a huge fan base7.After their introduction in France, the impressionists started makingpaintings and prints which resembled theirs. Theaspect meantthat most people could now relate to the impressionism art and thisis why their fan base developed. A year after the death of PaulCezanne, there was a massive exhibition of his artwork in Paris. Itdrewa huge number of people who were interested in viewing hispresentations especially the last one which was influenced by aJapanese work.

The introduction of the Japan prints culture had positive effects onthe impressionist since they gained a huge fan base. If kit were notfor the Japan prints, Impressionism would have remained pure with nomuch to look in for and this would not have any links to works suchas Mt. Saint Victoire which facilitated the large exhibition afterthe death of Cezanne.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Japonism refers to the influence of the Japan Art onthe Impressionism movement in Paris France. Claude Monet, PaulCezanne, and Paul Gauguin were some of the famous impressionists whoJapan prints effected on differently. Initially, Impressionismfocused on paintings using their simple brushes. Although they madetheir paintings straightforwardand focused on worldly matters in general, they ensured that thepictureswere visible. Later on, the French border wasopenedfor trade, and this led to the connection between the West and theEast. Exchanges between the West and the East are what introducedJapan prints in Paris, France after a curio shop wasopened.Impressionists started visiting the curio shops to collect thepaintings,and this influenced them in different ways. Firstly, Japonismis linked toMonet, one of the impressionists borrowing ideas from the Japaneseworks in his later art materials. As noted before, impressionistswere used to tiny brushes while making their paintings while theJapanese focused on wood blocks prints. However, after theintroduction of the Japanese prints in Paris, France, artists such asMoet decided to try out the new form of art. Thenew ideas ledto the development of one of his most successful works known as TheWaterlily Pond. Secondly, the Japan prints broadened the thinking ofthe French impressionists. For example, after studying the arts fromJapan, Gauguin got carried away and decided to come up with a newidea adapted from the different art. Thenew ideas ledto the introduction of Symbolism form of art. Initially, theimpressionists focused on communicating to the world in generalthrough their paintings, while this type of art would focus onexpressing personal feelings. Thirdly, Paul Cezanne tobe a celebrated impressionist who was influenced by the Japanese artculture. Japonism led to the growth of the impressionism fan base.Although they already had a developed fan base, Japan art broadenedthis by introducing new ideas to their industry. Arguably, Cezannemost important exhibition was after he made a painting borrowing aJapanese perception.

Bibliography

Berger,Klaus and David Britt. “Japonisme in the West.” Japonismein Western Painting from Whistler to Matisse.(2016): 101-108.

Floyd,Phylis. “Evidence for the Availability of Japanese Imagery inEurope in Nineteenth-.” TheArt Bulletin(2016): 105-141.

Napier,Susan J. “From Impressionism to Anime: Japan as Fantasy and FanCult in the.”Japanese Language and Literature (2016):523-530.

Taylorand Francis Ltd. “Back Matter.” TheArt Bulletin(2016): 178-199.

Weisberg,Gabriel P. “Aspects of Japonisme.” TheBulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art(2016): 120-130.

Whitford,Frank and David Waterhouse. “Japanese Prints Through Western Eyes.”MonumentaNipponica(2016): 207-214.

Wye,Deborah. “The Exuberant Prints of Fin∼de∼SiècleParis.”MoMA(2016): 20-23.

1 Berger, Klaus and David Britt. “Japonisme in the West.” Japonisme in Western Painting from Whistler to Matisse. (2016): 101-108.

2 Wye, Deborah. “The Exuberant Prints of Fin∼de∼Siècle Paris.” MoMA (2016): 20-23.

3 Floyd, Phylis. “Evidence for the Availability of Japanese Imagery in Europe in Nineteenth-.” The Art Bulletin (2016): 105-141.

4 Napier, Susan J. “From Impressionism to Anime: Japan as Fantasy and Fan Cult in the.” Japanese Language and Literature (2016): 523-530.

5 Taylor and Francis Ltd. “Back Matter.” The Art Bulletin (2016): 178-199.

6 Whitford, Frank and David Waterhouse. “Japanese Prints Through Western Eyes.” Monumenta Nipponica (2016): 207-214.

7 Weisberg, Gabriel P. “Aspects of Japonisme.” The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art (2016): 120-130.