East-west: Japan and japonism


Utagawa Hiroshige (1797 - 1858), Paulownia plantation at Akasaka in the evening rain, 1859In the mid 19th-century Japanese prints flooded the European market. Western artists were delighted by these images and variously translated aspects of Japanese print art in their own work. Flat planes of colour, patterns and daring compositions provided them with plenty of inspiration. Artists also experimented with woodcuts or adopted Japanese-style subjects, such as nature in close-up and simple, everyday actions.

Forty works
This presentation will display some 40 works, comprising not only Japanese prints from Vincent and Theo van Gogh’s collection, but also pictures by western artists who were influenced by such prints. Admire – like Van Gogh – prints by Japanese artists, such as Utagawa Hiroshige and Utagawa Kunisada, and pictures by contemporaries of Van Gogh, like Pierre Bonnard, Henri Rivière, Félix Buhot and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Sunday lecture
2 October 2011 - East-west. Japan and japonism
by Marieke Jooren, Assistant Curator, Van Gogh Museum
Instead of a lecture, there will be a guided tour through the exhibition: East-West: Japan and japonism. Notice that participation is limited, so please register an hour in advance at the information desk in the central hall. Duration: 45 minutes, starting-time: 1:45 pm, Dutch spoken.

‘Japanese art is something like the primitives, like the Greeks, like our old Dutchmen, Rembrandt, Potter, Hals, Vermeer, Ostade, Ruisdael. It doesn’t end.’
Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo, Arles, 15 July 1888

Copyright 2005-2014 - Van Gogh Museum | Credits | Disclaimer | Links