japonisme: "naturalism and decoration"

03 October 2006

"naturalism and decoration"

in 1863 critic william rosetti offered advice to western artists regarding their japanese counter- parts. "study their practice," he said, "for such points as the actions of birds, their quaint turns of head or lithe deviations of neck; the decorative and at the same time naturalistic treatment of plumage... we incline to say that the japanese reach higher in point of perceptive knowledge, and instant magic of the realizing hand, than any phase or period of european art..." (illustration by felix lorioux)



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