japonisme: museum tuesday

22 January 2008

museum tuesday

After the tsars

A number of objects found their way to the Hermitage after the revolution. These had originally been the property of individuals or private collectors and had been confiscated by the Soviet regime. In this fashion, a cupboard by the French trading company Escalier de Crystal arrived from the palace of Grand Duke Vladimir. This cupboard was a fine example of proto-Art Nouveau and illustrated the importance of Japanese art to the development of Art Nouveau during the last twenty five years of the nineteenth century.

The Hermitage Amsterdam will be dedicating its eighth exhibition to the beauties of Art Nouveau. The objects produced within this movement are the highlights of the Western decorative arts collection in the Hermitage in St Petersburg. This collection of Art Nouveau has not previously been on show in the Netherlands. Amongst the major works are the gifts to the last tsars made by the

glassmakers Émile Gallé and the Daum brothers; works by René Lalique and Carl Fabergé will also be included.

an exhibition at the hermitage amsterdam

Japonisme: Selections from the Elisabeth Dean Collection of French Prints

The Elisabeth Dean Collection of French Prints includes an extraordinary selection of lithographs and wood block prints indicative of the profound influence of Japanese art on many of the French Post-Impressionistic artists.

By 1862 the study and inspiration of Japanese art began in earnest and was marked by a keenly receptive cultural interest by Europeans in the Japanese aesthetic.

The nineteenth-century brought about a radical transformation of the role of the European artist. Instead of working on commission for aristocratic patrons, artists

in all media were more and more left to their own devices, creating works of art alone in their studios and then sending them into the market place hoping to attract a buyer and secure a sale. Innovative forms, new subjects and styles emerged from the changing economic structure brought about by the dawning of the industrial age and the importance of urban cities. The new clientele the artist sought to attract was increasingly comprised of the nouveau riche and the urban bourgeoisie and by the mid-nineteenth century the involvement of an anonymous public in artistic matters was an irrevocable fact that had been secured by mass production. New processes in lithographic printing and of the photographic print made art available to the general populace – the democratization of art coincided with the diversity of the japonisme movement of nineteenth-century France.

Félix Buhot, French, 1847-1893: Japonisme, ten etchings on yellow Chinese paper, 1885

the spencer museum of art at the university of kansas in lawrence apparently has quite a commitment to the art of printmaking, and have a very interesting collection.

in addition to someone who we've mentioned here before, gustave baumann, the museum has a collection from felix buhot, one of the earliest and thus influential french practitioners of japonisme.

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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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