Justin Waerts asks why Vincent had such admiration for Japanese prints. Check out the answer.
Vincent bought his first Japanese prints in Antwerp in 1885, after admiring their unique, intriguing qualities. Later, in Paris, he even looked upon them as a shining artistic example.
Vincent believed that the prints were of equal quality to recognised highlights of classical Western art. In a letter to Theo he once wrote: ‘Japanese art is something like the primitives, like the Greeks, like our old Dutchmen, Rembrandt, Potter, Hals […].’
Western artists including Van Gogh were captivated by the alternative approach to depiction in Japanese printing: the use of large sections of colour, elements at the edges of the image unexpectedly cropped and naturally, the exotic motifs.