Japonisme and Impressionism

      Japonisme and Impressionism


Japonism (from the French Japonisme, first used in 1872) is the influence of Japanese art, fashion and aesthetics on Western culture. The term is used particularly to refer to Japanese influence on European art, especially in impressionism.

The artists like to capture their images without detail but with bold colors are impressionists. Some of the greatest impressionist artists were Edouard Manet, Camille Pissaro, Edgar Degas, Alfred Sisley, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot and Pierre Auguste Renoir. Manet influenced the development of impressionism.In the end of 19th century, many artists of Europe started became crazy about Japonisme. Japonisme is used particularly to refer to Japanese influence on European art, especially in impressionism. From the middle of 19th century, ukiyo-e, Japanese wood-block prints, became a origin of inspiration for many European impressionist painters in France and somewhere else, and finally for Art Nouveau and Cubism. Artists were especially affected by the lack of perspective and shadow, the flat areas of strong color, and the compositional freedom gained by placing the subject off-centre, mostly with a low diagonal axis to the background.

Vincent van Gogh with Japonisme

Different from Western art, which focuses on the humanism and realism, Japanese art mainly focuses on the beauty of nature. The purpose of Japanese art is to make people communicate with nature by understanding the world. Many people believed that Japanese art has deeply inspired Van Gogh and influenced his creation of art. 

Also, many people believed that van Gogh’s masterpiece, The Starry Night, contains some elements of Hokusai's painting style.

The Great Wave off Kanazawa by Hokusai

The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh 

Monet and his garden    

When looking at Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge, we could easily see that his painting was mainly inspired by Japanese elements. Actually, one of his masterpieces, “Water Lilies”, was created in a Japanese garden. 

Water Lilies II by Monet 

Water Lilies and the Japanese Bridge by Monet

Resources from web.