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Japonisme and the Rise of the Modern Art Movement

The Arts of the Meiji Period

Gregory Irvine


A wonderfully illustrated study of the influence of Japanese Meiji art on the Modern Art movement in the West


From the 1860s through to the 1890s the rise of Japonisme and the Art Nouveau movement meant few could resist the obsession with all things Japanese.
Superbly crafted and often highly decorated Japanese objects – lacquer, metalwork, ceramics, enamels and other decorative items rich in new and exotic subject matter – stimulated and inspired Western artists and craftsmen to produce their own works. Arts of the Meiji period (1868–1912) were displayed at international exhibitions, in the galleries of influential dealers and at fashionable stores in London, Paris and Vienna.

Artists from Van Gogh, Whistler, Monet, Manet, Klimt and Schiele were all, to varying degrees, influenced by the arts of Japan. Van Gogh himself stated that he owed his inspiration to Japanese art, but he was probably not conscious of the full extent to which art in Europe had already been greatly influenced by that of Japan.

Here, six renowned scholars and specialists examine the influence of Japanese art and design in Europe with superlative examples from the Khalili Collection, the world’s finest collection of works from the Meiji period. They demonstrate that the Japanese influence on modern Western art has been far more penetrating than has been widely recognized.

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'A persuasive, sumptuous exploration of Japanese influence on western modernism … pairings of paintings by Monet, Manet and Degas with Japanese works, and discussions of gold-adorned Klimt and sexy Schiele, are revelatory'
Financial Times (Books of the Year)

'Invaluable for anyone with an interest in late-19th-century European art and culture'
Country Life

'If art books were nominated for annual awards … then 'Japonisme and the Rise of the Modern Art Movement' would definitely be a front-runner in the "most beautiful book category for 2013"'
Art Eyewitness

'In-depth essays and superb colour illustrations'
Ceramic Review

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 33.5 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 240 pp

Publication date: 4 November 2013

ISBN: 9780500239131

About the Author

Gregory Irvine is Senior Curator in the Asian department of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He has published widely on many aspects of Japanese art, and has held senior teaching positions both in the UK and Japan.

List of Contributors

Gregory Irvine

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