japonisme: scotland and japan

22 January 2007

scotland and japan

i have come across a number of painters of this era who are western, and who paint in a decidedly western style, but favor japanese subjects. one of these is the scottish painter edward atkinson hornel.

while some of his paintings and drawings take on the asymmetry of the japanese prints, in general his main influence was the beauty of what he saw in japan.

hornel was sent to japan with his friend george henry, by his glasgow art dealer, alexander reid, who was responsible for interesting the two painters in the new wave of japonisme, and the old one of japanese prints.1

henry as well loved painting the visions he saw in japan, but only his watercolors survived the trip home; the oils were not sufficiently dry.2

an early subscriber to the infusion of japonisme, japan anyway, into literature was the man who called himself pierre loti. his 'madame chrysanthemum'3 is considered the first japonisme novel, a precursor to 'madame butterfly.' hornel created illustrations for it.

the book is here.

(top two images are hornel; the right-hand image below them is henry; the illustration is again by hornel; the last is of hornel by bessie macnichol.)

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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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