The Influence Of Japanese Art On Impressionist Painting

source: visual-arts-cork
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Known as the first modern art movement, Impressionism remains one of the most popular and prevalent art forms today. While much of the groundbreaking genre was highly original, the Impressionists found inspiration in other Japanese art forms such as Ukiyo-e, Japanese woodcuts. After Japanese ports reopened to trade with the West in 1853, a wave of foreign imports flooded European shores. At the crest of that wave were the woodcuts etched by teachers of the Ukiyo-e school, which transformed Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art by demonstrating that the simple, transient, everyday themes of the "floating world" can be presented in a way. attractive and decorative. In this article, we will explore the rise of Ukiyo-e, or "images of the floating world," and how it later inspired the Impressionists in terms of content, style, and focus, culminating in a creative and timeless artistic relationship. To understand the rise of the art of ukiyo-e, we must look at the history of Japan during the 16th to 18th centuries. The Tokugawa family ruled Japan, beginning in 1603. The Tokugawa Shogunate remained in power for two hundred and sixty-five years, during which time the doors of Japan were closed to foreigners. Although the emperor was the absolute monarch, he delegated authority to the Shogun, granting provinces to secondary clans of dominion, in a kind of feudal regime to obtain a balance of power. The class structure was clearly defined by strict feudal laws, but it changed substantially with the growth of the cities of Edo (Tokyo) and Osaka. These changes eventually gave rise to a prosperous merchant class made up of merchants and artisans, who struggled for social and economic power and freedom of expression. It was this burgeoning new middle class, known as the Choonin, who played a major role in the overthrow of the Tokugawa Shogunate in the 19th century.

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