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  Japonisme (or French Japonaiserie, ‘Japonizing’) refers to the influence of Japanese art and crafts on the West, which followed the opening up of that country to the West in the 1850s. In the decorative arts, the influences are similar in kind, if not in extent, to those of the chinoiserie craze of the 18th century. In painting and applied arts, Japanese systems of design, well known in the West through imported prints, offered artists of the later 19th century (such as Degas, Manet and Toulouse-Lautrec) a way of ‘balancing’ works through masses of colour and a robust linearity. Such methods were radically different from the traditional, ‘renaissance’ techniques, and were crucial factors in the whole development of modern art in the West. MG PD

Further reading Siegfried Wichmann, Japonisme: the Japanese Influence on Western Art since 1858.



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