Thursday, September 11, 2014

Design Always Repeats Itself: Japonisme Edition

I'm currently undertaking an independent study in Asian Influences in Art and Design and I've just completed the book Japonisme; Cultural Crossings Between Japan and the West and the book is fascinating! One of my favorite elements though is in Chapter 2: Japan and Painters where the authors discuss the works of many 19th century English and French artists and their direct influence of Japanese woodcuts. My absolute favorite is this example:

The Courtesan Hinazuru at the Keizetsuru
Kitagawa Utamaro
c. 1794-5
Color Woodcut

The Letter
Mary Cassatt
c. 1890-1
Color Etching, Drypoint and Aquatint

Mary Cassatt had direct access to this image and it seems highly likely that she was inspired by Utamaro's magnificent rendering of a women with a paper in her mouth. 


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