japonisme: 11/19/06 - 11/26/06

25 November 2006

lady in black, with fan...

it became de rigeur for the uppercrust woman to have her portrait painted in, or with kimono, japanese screen,

fan, japanese ceramics, or any combination thereof. this is only the beginning. much more to come.

David R. Brigham
1, in American Impres- sionism: Paintings of Promise, says, "A number of .... Impres- sionists, .... painted female figures in interiors adorned with Japanese

effects. Kimonos, screens, fans, and porcelain added richness of texture and meaning to their subjects."

so is this still all interesting to some readers? yesterday was de-lurking day! so please de-lurk. i would love to hear your thoughts! thanks.

(starting at upper right: manet 1873;
chadwick 1891;
sir john lavery;
julius le blanc stewart 1908)

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24 November 2006

stealing magnolias

i haven't seen this before, a nearly exact example of copying (minus the bird), though i suspect that kawarazaki has done it before -- haven't really looked carefully at all of his work, but a swift glance suggested to me that he had.

I've been wondering how it is that with all of these won- derful kimono patterns, one never sees two alike; it seems true but i'm still looking.

nor have i yet found anything to read about this kind of thing, but maybe i just haven't hit on the right search yet.

in any case, i'd suggest 'inspired' is a better word than 'stole' when talking about these astonishingly beautiful windows from tiffany's laurelton hall estate, burned in 1957.

they are part of a new exhibition at the metro- politan museum of art in new york: "Louis Comfort Tiffany and Laurelton Hall: An Artist's Country Estate" continues through May 20, 2007.

(upper right, keiren imao; upper right, kawarazaki shodo. the first is thought to have been done ca. 1885. there's no date on the second but the artist was born in 1889!)

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23 November 2006

happy holiday

japanese catalpas and bee
watanabe seitei, 1916


22 November 2006


whose kimono is this?

i'll continue to give clues in this topic till someone gets it.

this person had numerous beautiful screens like this
who has this room in their house?

and this library...?

a poem by our mystery stranger, who had his first poem published exactly 186 years ago today, when he was 13.


though he's better known for his poem about gitchy- goomy than his one about imported pottery, henry wads- worth long- fellow's eldest son became the family's japanophile, shipping some twenty or so chests back to his home. the enthusiasm was caught by the family, like so many others during that period, and they occasionally all donned their kimono and watched the eclipse of the moon.

a new book about longfellow's son is recently out: Longfellow's Tattoos: Tourism, Collecting and Japan, by christine guth.

21 November 2006

visual haiku

can it be a heron,

plum blossoms, or snow?

no. tonight it is the moon.

hasu midori

baika jo, the plum blossom album, 1808; baika jo, the plum blossom album, 1808 (this is available online at the new york public library).
ohara koson, little egret on a branch.

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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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19 November 2006

virgins in the field

a nabi (a small group of artists dubbed that by a critic--it meant 'prophet'), maurice denis believed as did the japanese that it was foolish to see only oil on canvas within a frame as art.

the nabis often called for "walls for decoration!"

this piece, entitled 'april,' 1892, was one of four panels designed for the walls of a young girl's bedroom. like many of the works of the nabis, here the diagonal structure, simplified shapes, and flat surfaces of bright color also recalled the work of the japanese printmakers they admired.

shuntei miagawa's work, 'picking dandelions,' 1904, featured young women and children, which were his favorite topics.

the musee d'orsay in paris features three exhibitions, from 10.31.2006 to 1.21.2007, of denis' work: paintings, drawings, and photographs, along with various related events.

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