‘Japonisme’ is a term used that actually sums up the massive influence Japanese arts had during the 19th century, from their decorative arts through to woodblocks and every day life. This influence is seen in the work of many of the great artists from Van Gogh & Japan to Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec. The emphasis of cleat lines creating depth and space, the vibrant colours, the beauty and grace of the women in their traditional costumes, the aesthetics of Japanese culture shines in these works. These Impressionist artists were hugely impressed and attracted to the Japanese woodblock artist prints and were greatly enamoured with all Japan had to offer, from the silks and kimonos to the beauty of their art. It was fresh and new in the late 1800’s and proved to be a popular style with collectors and indeed this love of Japanese style has never really faded. As Spring arrives we will all be once again inspired by the beauty of cherry blossom or the Sakura season in Tokyo, which has now officially begun it seems and although the crowds will be smaller no doubt the blossom will be more beautiful than ever . Japanese cherry blossom has inspired so many images in art and in typical Japanese simple, beautiful style artists like Dmitry Art continue the theme with nature.
Other Japonisme influences are famously recognised with the great Japanese artist Hokusai and his woodblock print ‘Breaking waves off Kanagawa’ and his ‘Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji’ , well known classics, seen all over the world and re-produced on just about every object that they can be. During his lifetime Hokusai produced around 30,000 works and given his great talent he was bound to be influential.
Even Damien Hirst is getting in on the blossom theme – so must be good!
Japanese culture and Japanese artist’s have had a huge influence on artistic style through art history and this year we need to celebrate the arts wherever we can, so as the blossom starts to bloom we can enjoy its beautiful and constant vision of hope and strength, always returning undeterred – a powerful vision for 2021!
Written by: Lisa Freeman
After twenty-five years as an experienced arts PR, Lisa is now further expanding her focus within the art world to develop PR and Marketing campaigns within all sectors of arts and culture, from art galleries to exhibitions, as well as individual artist campaigns and charity art foundations.