Japonisme: Japan and the Birth of Modern Art


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After 200 years of self-imposed isolation, in 1854 Japan was forced by the United States to open its borders to international trade. The sudden influx of Japanese commodities into Europe and America triggered a creative revolution. The classical period of Japonisme saw progressive artists across Europe adopt elements of the visual language of Japanese woodblock prints, ceramics, lacquer and textiles to forge a new European art and lay the foundations of modernism.

Featuring works from the National Gallery of Victoria’s rich collection, this volume explores the influence of Japanese art on modern art in the West at the dawn of the twentieth century. With written contributions from NGV curators Amanda Dunsmore, Matthew Martin and Wayne Crothers, alongside striking imagery, the book offers valuable insight into a pivotal period in Western art history.

Publisher: National Gallery of Victoria
270mm x 210mm, 120 pages, portrait,
Fully illustrated in colour
ISBN: 9781925432527
Category: Decorative arts
Published: May 2018