japonisme: madame b.

27 June 2007

madame b.






Butterfly
You? you? you? you? you? you? you?
Beloved Idol!
Ador'd, adorèd being,
Fairest flower of beauty.
[taking the child's head in her hands, she draws it to her]
Though you ne'er must know it
`Tis for you, my love, for you I'm
dying, Poor Butterfly
That you may go away
Beyond the ocean,
Never to feel the torment when you are older,
That your mother forsook you!
[exaltedly]
My son, sent to me from Heaven,
Straight from the throne of glory,
Take one last and careful
look At your poor mother's face!
That it's memory may linger,
One last look!
Farewell, beloved! Farewell, my dearest heart!
Go, play, play. 1
(see too here and here and check out this -- it's really interesting)

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Veronika said...

dear lotusgreen,

first of all, thank you so much for this amazing blog! i found it three days ago and since then keep on reading all our entries, especially those about japanese woodblock prints and van gogh. please keep on doing it!

since i study east asian art history at freie universität berlin (germany), i was wondering how you got interested in the topic. do you or did you study anything comparable?

i´m very much interested in japonisme since about ten years ago, when i saw a great exhibition about the direct influences of japanese art on henri de toulouse-lautrec in vancouver. right now i am preparing for a test about japonism next month (for which your blog is very helpful :-) ) and also i´m just writing an essay about the relationship between vincent van gogh and the japanese painter and woodblock-printer munakata shikô (1903-1975), who is called the “van gogh of japan”, because he was so much inspired by him. he especially loved van gogh`s sunflowers.

this relationship between van gogh to the japanese on the one hand, and munakata to van gogh on the other, is in my eyes very special. the woodblock print serves as a bridge between the orient and the occident. the one craves to live like “these simple japanese (…) who live in nature as though they themselves were flowers” and who tries to create his very own “japan” in the south of france, the other desperately longs to become “van gogh”.

what van gogh learned from the japanese (the bright colors of yellow, red and blue, the awkward angles, the black outlines, the love of a simple religious life within nature etc.) was later, through munakata brought back to japan. the westernized view of the (naïve) japan is then again transformed by the japanese munakata into something very specificly japanese (you for sure know about that great talent the japanese have).

anyway…wonderful blog!!!

in case you are interested in more details about munakata, feel free to ask me…

many greetings from berlin, veronika

28 June, 2007 15:13  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

veronika--you made my day! thank you!

i can;'t really say how i got interested in this subject, and i have never studied it formally, but i have been studying it on my own for 30 years or more, and i am still actively doing that.

how lucky you were to see that exhibition. thank you for telling me about munakata shikô. i have seen his work but didn't know his name. his work always reminds me of mayumi oda'swork.

isn't it amazing watching the learning going in both directions? really interesting to me.

thanks!

28 June, 2007 22:44  

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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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