japonisme: heron, pheasants, and ducks

20 November 2006

heron, pheasants, and ducks

bonnard, also a nabi, created this screen for his sister.

like the rest of his group, the images are extremely stylized, the clouds scalloped, and... two moons...?!

but it's also completely obvious the japanese influences. elements of screens which have elements in common with his screen appear in numerous of the prints that were flooding paris.

in addition to that, and to imported screens themselves, were the many 'decorations' guides published with examples of japanese and chinese design themes. (sort of precur- sors to dover books?) in viewing these small examples, one easily sees the connections.

now, bonnard was too much the trickster to do any kind of direct translation. the wonderful red background is more chinese than japanese, and it's said that that heron just might be more a reference to the la fontaine fairy tale than to anything found in a manga or print. they say the nabis loved fairy tale illustrations and why not; they were strongly influenced by the japanese prints themselves.

a compre- hensive if disappointing from a japonisme point of view, 'pierre bonnard: observing nature.' 'ladies and crane screen,' harunobu suzuki. the la fontaine illustrations are by benjamin rabier.

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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