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Japonisme: The Presence of Japan in Western Art

September 1, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Japonisme is a word we use in art history to describe the study of Japanese art and its influence on European artists.

Image Credit: Edward Hornel: ‘Geisha Girls’, courtesy of the Fleming Collection.

In this presentation, Prof Maria Chester will take us to nineteenth century Japan, which was visited by several artists, including Edward Hornel and George Henry, who were highly impressed by the aesthetics, traditions, painting techniques and particularly advanced photography they found on their travels. The influence of Japan as well as that of Africa is well known in artworks produced in France by Impressionists and Post-Impressionists who found inspiration in Japanese woodblock prints called Ukiyo-e ( which translates as “pictures in the floating world”). The tension in the composition, the inclusion of letters, the treatment of landscape and human figures will become obvious in the work of highly regarded painters such as Monet and Degas. We shall study in some depth all these characteristics to finally reach a conclusion about the influence of the remote and unknown culture of Japan on Western art in this period.

This 50 minute lecture is part of a programme of activities based around the exhibition ‘The Glasgow Boys and Girls’ at the Granary Gallery , Berwick. There will also be a practical art workshop led by Gill Walton looking specifically at the influence of Japonisme on the work of Glasgow Boys and Girls.

The lecture will be delivered via Zoom. If you haven’t used Zoom before, please go to www.zoom.us and look at the tutorials. An invitation to the lecture is on the Online Event Page (follow the links in your ticket confirmation).

If you book this course online, we will hold your personal data in accordance with our privacy policy. If you do not wish us to hold your personal data, please book by post (see www.berwickea.co.uk) and do not supply an email address.