Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism – New Exhibit at Legion of Honor in San Francisco

“Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism”
October 16, 2010 – January 9, 2011

“Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism” exhibit introduces audiences to the development of the Japanese print over two centuries (1700–1900) and reveals its profound influence on Western art during the era of Impressionism. The term “Japanesque” was first used in English in the mid 1880s to refer to the Japanese style or manner.

The exhibition, featuring more than 250 prints, drawings, paintings, and artist’s books, is divided into three sections:

  • Evolution — The Origin and Development of the Japanese Color Woodcut
  • Essence — The Aesthetic of Ukiyo-e Prints
  • Influence — European Artists and Japanisme

Did you know that Japanese prints were Claude Monet’s passion? His home at Giverny is filled with works by Hiroshige, Hokusai, Utamaro and other masters of ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world). Other preeminent artists who collected Japanese prints during the Impressionist era included Manet, Degas, Whistler, Cassatt, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh.

View iconic images such as Hokusai’s “The Great Wave” and “Fuji above the Lightning” from the series “36 Views of Mount Fuji ” (1831–1834), in addition to Hiroshige’s “Plum Orchard” from his famous series “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” (1857). Henri Rivière’s homage to Hokusai “Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower “(1902) is also featured.

ALL 36 prints from the series “Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower are currently on display – and 31 of the 36 prints from the the series “36 Views of Mount Fuji” can be seen. Don’t miss this amazing exhibit – it’s so interesting to see how our favorite Impressionist artists were so profoundly influenced by Japanese prints.

The Japanesque exhibit complements the de Young’s presentation of paintings from the Musée d’Orsay (“Post Impressionist Masterpieces” — which by the way, is another “must-see” exhibit if you haven’t already seen it), many of which are aesthetically indebted to concepts of the Japanese print.

What are your favorite Japanese Prints?

More Info on the Legion of Honor in San Francisco

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