Burty devoted a considerable amount of effort and money to assembling a unique collection of prints and Japanese objets d’art. The printmaker Félix Hilaire Buhot immortalised several highlights of Burty's collection in a series of etchings titled Japonisme.
Burty did not only collect for his own pleasure — he also invited interested parties to study his collection, and he encouraged artists to stimulate their creativity through the decorative visual idiom of Japanese art.
Burty’s progressive ideas made him a pioneer in terms of the efflorescence of fine-art printmaking that occurred in the 1890s.
Although he was not around to experience the revolution himself, his pivotal role was taken over enthusiastically by the critic and collector Roger Marx.
While Burty had primarily championed etching, however, Marx focused on all printmaking techniques.
Philippe Burty, ‘La belle épreuve’ in L’eau-forte en 1875, Paris, 1875
Philippe Burty, ‘Préface’ in Exposition des peintres-graveurs, Paris, 1889
Gabriel P. Weisberg, The Independent Critic, New York, 1993