Europe 1870 1900 & japanese art


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  • Despite being an archipelago made of 4 main islands, Japan and Japanese culture does not reveal an isolation inherent to most island cultures, but rather a responsiveness to ideas from continental eastern Asia (China, in particular) (for example the religious belief of Buddhism, which was absorbed into an indigenous Shinto belief and Chinese writing systems) and to ideas from the Western world. It is mostly this second interaction that we will discuss today. However, despite Japanese artists interest in Western art and culture, a truly distinct set of Japanese aesthetics evolved that resisted Western aesthetics and rules for depicting forms in space, even if at times Japanese artists dabbled in and even perfected Western perspectival methods in their drawings. Even during periods of isolation, the Japanese imported Western ideas and exported their own, resulting in a history of mutual intrigue and appreciation between the East and West. We will explore this interaction today by first discussing Japanese Art and then Western European art following the introduction of Japanese art into the West during the late 19th century. We will see the enormous influence that Japanese art had on Western Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists, in a movement known as Japonisme. And we will look at that in the context of other influences on late 19th century art, namely realist movements, photography, film, and industrialization.
  • But, first I’d like to consider Japanese art independent of Western art in order to discern its own unique aesthetic qualities. See quote above by 20th century Japanese author of books on Buddhism and Zen in Japanese culture.
  • "If I could be remembered, I would like to be remembered as an architect who courageously pursued his own ideas and ideals without being trifled with the architectural streams of time. I want my work to be able to provoke thoughts in people when they come in contact with the buildings or with the architecture. In this case, a house in which they feel that they are connected with nature, that they're living within this place which is Chicago and that inspires them to do something for themselves. I want my architecture to embody that power. For example, [in the Japanese screen gallery] I want people to feel as if the wind is passing through these columns and creates something that reminds them of something beyond physicality. Another example, [the House in Chicago], when you are in this space and look out to this outdoor space, you feel the connection between the space, you feel the depth, you feel something beyond just physical elements that are there." (pp. 24-25)
  • Westerners and their beliefs banned, except Chinese and Dutch. Ruled by Shogun (general) and daimyos (feudal lords). Class hierachy: samurai, farmers, artisans, merchants.
  • Kano School official school of painting during Edo period, provided ptgs to the Tokugawa, etc; other alternative schools emerged, the earliest being Rinpa, which was quite different. It was not so stratified (training through father and son, master/pupil) and attracted different artistic approaches. The Rinpa style features vivid color, lots of gold and silver, and a focus on decorative patterning. Its founding practioner Ogata Korin painted the above folding screen, each of which depict red (the above) and white (not shown) plum trees next to a stream. New sense of space is achieved by painting each object from different perspectives: the tree from the ground, the stream as seen from above. The texture of trees achieved by signature Rinpa technique called tarashikomi, the dropping of ink and pigments onto surfaces still wet with other ink and pigments. This gives the tree an aged appearance, while the stream has more of a stylized precision, achieved through the use of paper stencils.
  • dates back to The Heian aristocratic taste valued mono no aware (the pathos inherent in fleeting beauty), it adhered to a well-defined code of visual restraint in the arts. The reactions it evoked in its viewers, and readers, were not “restrained” however: “The sensitive observer is moved to tears by the beauty of nature, or by its embodiment in art...not only because it is so impressive in itself, but because when confronted with such beauty he becomes more than ever conscious of the ephemeral nature of all that lives in this world of ours” (Ivan Morris)
  • Woodblock printing: ukiyo-e
    -a collective process: three people: artist, carver, and the printer
    -funded by a publisher, whose icon can gen be found on the print
    -drawing executed in ink on tissue paper, carver would paste it facedown on a block (usu cherrywood), the carver would cut around lines of drawing with knife, rest of block chiseled away leaving outlines in relief – this became the key block – for polychrome, multicolored prints, a separate block used for each color
    -printer would prepare the paper by covering it with animal glue, remoistened just prior to printing, block was inked, then paper placed on it and pressure applied with a baren to transfer design
    -used registration marks in margins to keep online
  • -working late 18th century to first half of 19th
    -in 70s (age of artist) when made this series
    -early cartooning
    -much like a Japanese Leonardo – make many sketches of animals, human faces, behavior
    -studied Western ptgs and engravings, in 1812 published Simplified Lessons in Drawing proposing how forms are made of circles and squares
    -went by over 30 names during his life, incl “The Old Man Mad about Art”
    “From around the age of six, I had the habit of sketching from life. I became an artist, and from fifty on began producing works that won some reputation, but nothing I did before the age of seventy was worthy of attention. At seventy-three, I began to grasp the structures of birds and beasts, insects and fish, and of the way plants grow. If I go on trying, I will surely understand them still better by the time I am eighty-six, so that by ninety I will have penetrated to their essential nature. At one hundred, I may well have a positively divine understanding of them, while at one hundred and thirty, forty, or more I will have reached the stage where every dot and every stroke I paint will be alive. May Heaven, that grants long life, give me the chance to prove that this is no lie.”
  • - Hokusai (1849) and Hiroshige (1858) died mid-century and with them the “floating world”
    -Japan forced open, a conseq of American pressure, US Navy
    -“gunboat diplomacy” – Matthew Perry, American commander, arrived in 1853 and signed a treaty negotiated between him and the shogun to open Japan up to trade
    -in 1868, Meiji EMporer restored to power, Meiji Restoration (Tokugawa shogunate experiences downfall)
    -capital moved to Edo, renamed Tokyo
    ***Japan begins rapidly westernizing, absorbing western culture, artmaking (staff illustrator for London news set up school in Yokohama), education, govt – tension results, making themselves over in the West’s image
    -Question over what is authentically Japanese art – conflict between traditional artmaking and modern artmaking ensues
    -Trad Japanese painting (Kano) and temples not sold or destroyed
    -Western artists, particular French, will be drawn to this aesthetic, and will mimic it in paint
    -1856 France—Felix Bracquemond’s, designer and etcher, shop – shipment from Japan, in workshop of his printer, a little book of prints with Hokusai’s manga (?) in it, Frenchmen were stunned by the images, carried book everywhere with him showing his artist friends (Manet, Whistler, Degas, Fantin-Latour, Baudelaire)
  • -created a movement, Japonisme – prints, lacquers, fans, scrolls, blue and white porcelain, flood the West -- ukiyo-e prints valued as high art in west and those artists given wide acclaim – first book on Hokusai published in France; by early 20th century, 90 percent of Japanese prints sold to Western collectors
    -objects sold in western department stores, esp London – women wore Japanese dress
    -shops opened (Mme Desoye’s La Porte Chinoise
    -first exh of Japanese prints in West in London in 1862 at Intl Exh (collection of Rutherford Alcock)
    -Japan also had similar enthusiasm – exh of Western art there in 1870s
    1877-Vincent buys Japanese prints from the noted art dealer Siegfried Bing and studies them intensively. He arranges an exhibition of Japanese woodcuts at a Paris café and makes a few "copies" after Japanese prints. His own work takes on the stylized contours and expressive coloration of his Japanese examples.
    "I envy the Japanese artists for the incredible neat clarity which all their works have. It is never boring and you never get the impression that they work in a hurry. It is as simple as breathing; they draw a figure with a couple of strokes with such an unfailing easiness as if it were as easy as buttoning one's waist-coat.“ – van Gogh
  • -Monet, among many others participate in the Japonisme movement
    -in 1874, Manet along with other artists who’ll we’ll see (Cezanne, Degas, Monet, Pissarro, Morisot and 20+ others) decided not to submit work to that yrs Salon, since they generally rejected them) and instead at Societe Anonyme (Anonymous Society)
    -Louis Leroy—dubbed entire 1873 exh “impressionist” derogatory term—looks unfinished, haphazard, Monet didn’t mind the label
    -Several more exh followed until 1886
    -another big shift in artmaking – artists paint outdoors, “plein air ptg” to record light as it falls on the land, how it changes depending on time of day
    -in 1841, tin tubes for oil ptg exh
    -Monet a Parisian, but raised in port city of Le Havre, began ptg plein air while on the Normandy coast, academically trained, told American painter Lila Cabot Perry, a friend:
    “When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you…Merely think, here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape, until it gives your own naïve impression of the scene before you.”
  • -affil with Imp, but didn’t work outdoors; in studio
    -like Monet, also academically trained, Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1850s
    -close with Manet, encouraged him to turn away from hist ptg and to everyday life (and the ladies clearly) toward music hall, opera, ballet, circus, racetrack, art as entertainment
    -in 1870s began ptg, Parisian entertainment—ballet rehearsals
    -ballerinas from lower classes so could exhibit their scantily clad bodies in public, often attracted sugar daddies to support them, some of his ballet pics include the dancers mothers as protectors, to safeguard their virtue
  • -also a studio painter
    -American expat, from Pittsburgh, studied at Penn Academy of Fine Arts in 1861-65, then moved to Paris to study further and stayed mostly
    -befriended Impressionists
    -Degas invited her to exhibit in Imp exh of 1879 (some think they were lovers), only American invited to exh with them
    “I accepted with joy. At last, I could work with absolute independence without considering the opinion of a jury. I had already recognized who were my true masters. I admired Manet, Courbet, and Degas. I hated conventional art.”
    -her work focused on women, incl their relationships with their daughters
    -here a kind of Madonna and Child image
    -attended exh of Japanese prints Exh Universalle? In 1890 and was very affected by them
    -work reflects this –more formal structure (created after “crisis” in the Imp. Style)
    -japonisme: flat decrativve patterns, simple contours, sharply sloping floor
  • Georges Seurat
    -also devoted to classical aesthetics – pointillist system (“divisionist” system, in his words)
    What is this system?—law of simultaneous contrasts
    -Chevreul dev it – adjacent objects not only cast reflections of their color onto their neighbors but create in them their complementary color; e.g blue next to yellow, effect of purple created (complement of yellow)
    -Seurat applied this color system systematically
    -dots of pure color placed next to one another to create this effect when merged
    -dots remain, create grainy effect like a grainy photo
    -this ptg exh at 8th and final Imp exh of 1886
  • Post-Imp/Expressionism: How to paint the intensity of visual experience? The intensity of being alive? Art as an expression of the self, the individual—doesn’t need to be tied to the objective world, can be purely subjective
    -Van gogh: his art as a humanitarian act, ministry to the poor
    -Dutch, son of protestant minister (looks like the Japanese perception of a Dutchman)
    -an art dealer, teacher, evangelist
    -studied in Brussels, the Hague, Antwerp, moved in 1886 to Paris
    -heavy impasto, arbitrary use of color – straight from the tube
    -color becomes the chief element and unlike Cezanne (who despised his work) and Seurat, not systemat but FREE!!!!
    -absorbs Seurat’s divisionism but alters it
    -as many of you know, Van Goh experience psych crises, leading to his living in a mental asylum and eventual suicide
    -perpetuated the Expressionist tradition – the artists feelings are laid out on the canvas – the work becomes a record of the person, how he felt about things
  • -Toulouse-Lautrec chronicled life in montmarte, an entertainment district in Paris—a refuge for bohemians, outcasts, artists, which he was one of
    -he designed lithographic posters as advertisements for these clubs (process invented in 1796)
    -also indepted to Art Nouveau
    -his work often interpreted as evoking modern alienation (like that of Manet’s)
  • -Mother died of tuberculosis when Edvard was only five years old, and Edvard's older sister, Sophie, died of the disease at the age of 15. Edvard himself was often ill. A younger sister was diagnosed with mental illness at an early age. Of the five siblings only one, Andreas, ever married, only to die a few months after the wedding.
  • -most imp late 19th century sculptor, biggest commission here, a competition by cits of Calais, commemorates event from one Hundred Years War, 1347, when King Edward III of England lay siege to Calais. He offered to spare city if six leading citizens would surrender themselves for execution.
    -rather than sculpt an idealized group portrait of neoclassical heroes, Rodin dressed them in sackcloths, put ropes around their necks, made them look haggard and beaten down; their carrying keys the city in the their enlarged hands, put on a low base, almost near street level to make them identifiable to the average man (this will gradually lead to the removal of the pedestal in modern sculpture so that object inhabits the real space of the viewer)
    -because the king was impressed by their courage, they lived
    -the officials of Calais were not pleased
    -however, this expressive stylization of the human form was groundbreaking
  • Europe 1870 1900 & japanese art

    1. 1. Art in Japan – 15th – 19th cent.
    2. 2. Where you would ordinarily expect a line or a mass or a balancing element, you miss it, and yet this very thing awakens in you an unexpected feeling of pleasure. In spite of shortcomings or deficiencies that no doubt are apparent, you do not feel them so; indeed, this imperfection itself becomes a form of perfection. Evidently, beauty does not necessarily spell perfection of form. This has been one of the favorite tricks of Japanese artists – to embody beauty in a form of imperfection or even of ugliness. -D.T. Suzuki, from Remarks on Japanese Art Culture (detail from Takashi Murakami’s Army of Mushrooms)
    3. 3. Modern Japan – Architecture Tadao Ando, Ando Gallery at the Art Institute of Chicago, 1992
    4. 4. Japan – Muromachi • Mid 14th-century – late 16th century (corresponds to early to late Renaissance in Western world) • Rise of Zen Buddhism emphasis on discipline, selfcontrol calm, lack of fear and personal responsibility (zen = meditation) • Imported from China • Popular with Samurai (elite warrior class) and aristocracy • Growth of visual art and architecture (temples) inspired by Zen Buddhist teachings • Kano school (moment of enlightenment) Kano Motonobu Zen Patriarch Xiangyen Zhixian Sweeping with a Broom, ca. 1513 hanging scroll, ink and color on paper
    5. 5. Japan – Muromachi •Sesshu a Zen priest • Admired Chinese Ming painting (traveled there) • Haboku technique adapted from Chinese painting • Broad, rapid strokes, includes drips • Landscape bordering on abstraction • Suggests form with few strokes (two figures on boat on right) • Tension between spontaneity and control (Zen Buddhism) Sesshu Toyo, splashed-ink (haboku) landscape detail of lower part of hanging scroll 1495, ink on paper
    6. 6. Zen & American Abstract Painting Pollock, Autumn Rhythm (No. 30), 1950, oil and enamel
    7. 7. Japan - Momoyama • Late 16th century – early 17th century • Construction of castles and palatial residences • Lavish decoration for castle interiors • Including paintings, sliding doors, folding screens in gold leaf • Tea ceremony important mark of refinement • Wabi (refined rusticity) & sabi (value in old & weathered) Kogan, tea ceremony water jar Momoyama period, late 16th century Shino ware with underglaze, 7”
    8. 8. Japan - Momoyama • Tea ceremony important ritual • Political and ideological uses • Meticulous selection of utensils and decoration • Prescribed ritual (entrance here involved crawling on hands and knees as sign of humility) • Oldest tea house in existence • Established standard (straw mats (tatami) set in alcove (tokonoma), decorated with scrolls • Dark walls, very small size (6 sq. ft) • Emphasis on intimacy Sen No Rikyu, Taian teahouse Myokian Temple, Kyoto ca. 1582
    9. 9. Japan - Edo Dates and Places: • Edo Period (1615-1868) and beyond • Capital from Kyoto to Edo People: • From openness to isolation • Militaristic (shogun & daimyo) • Rigid social order • Zen Buddhism supplanted by Neo-Confucianism (loyalty to state) • Growing merchant class, literacy rate, artistic patronage • 250 yrs peace and prosperity Map of Japan, fig.18-1
    10. 10. Japan - Edo Themes: • Secular themes • Landscape • Everyday life (entertainers) Forms: • Abstracted, decorative form • Patterning & design • Flattened space • Fine counter line, flat color • Conceptual approach • Disregard for Western perspectival methods Ando Hiroshige, Plum Estate, Kameido From One Hundred Famous Views of Edo 1857, woodblock print
    11. 11. Japan - Edo Ukiyo-e “Pictures of the Floating World” SUZUKI HARUNOBU, Evening Bell at the Clock, Edo period, ca. 1765. Fig. 18-16.
    12. 12. Japan – Edo • Colored woodcut print • Multiple blocks for colors and lines • Prints cheap & readily available • Ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world) • Transience and ephemeral life • Genre themes (actors, beautiful women) • Flat color, patterning & decoration, strong contour lines, asymmetry SUZUKI HARUNOBU, Evening Bell at the Clock, Edo period, ca. 1765. Fig. 18-16.
    13. 13. Japanese Woodblock Printmaking Photo credit Thomas A. Crossland
    14. 14. Japan - Edo Hokusai Self Portrait as an Old Man KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, Edo period, ca. 1826–1833. Fig. 18-17.
    15. 15. Japan - Edo • One of the great ukiyo-e printmakers • From the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji • Colored woodcut print • Experimented with western perspective, western materials • Here incorporates Western hue, Prussian blue • Graphic form KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, Edo period, ca. 1826–1833. Fig. 18-17.
    16. 16. East Meets West Hokusai’s Manga
    17. 17. Japonisme Ando Hiroshige, Sudden Shower on the Ohashi Bridge & Vincent van Gogh, Bridge in the Rain (after Hiroshige) Watch Clip from “Crows,” from Dreams (Yume), 1990, Akira Kurosawa
    18. 18. Europe and America, 18701900 PAUL GAUGUIN, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? 1897
    19. 19. Impressionism – Finding Perfection in Imperfection Dates and Places: • 1870 to 1890 • France, England, US People: • Industrialization, urbanization • Leisure • Self-conscious modernity and modernism • “The Painter of Modern Life” (Baudelaire) JAMES ABBOTT MCNEILL WHISTLER, Nocturne in Black and Gold (The Falling Rocket), ca. 1875. Fig. 13-1.
    20. 20. Impressionism Themes: • Landscape, cityscape • Urban life • Leisure activities Forms: • Fleeting effects of light PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR, Le • Unblended brushstrokes Moulin de la Galette, 1876. Fig. 13-4. • Plein air (outdoor) painting • Influence of Japanese prints
    21. 21. The Lumiere Brothers’ First Films, 1895
    22. 22. Impressionism CLAUDE MONET, Impression: Sunrise, 1872. Fig. 13-2.
    23. 23. Impressionism • Name derived from painting title • Formed society & exhibited own works, from 1874 - 1886 • Coined as derisive term by critic who thought paintings looked unfinished, haphazard • Honesty of materials • Capture sensations of moment • Painted outdoors (en plein air) • Success of movement credited to expanded art market and aggressive art dealers CLAUDE MONET, Impression: Sunrise, 1872. Fig. 13-2.
    24. 24. Impressionism EDGAR DEGAS, Ballet Rehearsal, 1874. Fig. 13-5.
    25. 25. Impressionism • Leisure activities of city dwellers • Influence of imported Japanese prints • Japanese composition, viewpoint • Photography for preliminary studies EDGAR DEGAS, Ballet Rehearsal, 1874. Fig. 13-5.
    26. 26. Impressionism MARY CASSATT, The Bath, ca. 1892. Fig. 13-6.
    27. 27. Impressionism • One of two women who exhibited regularly with the Impressionists • Most of her subjects were women & children • Figures have solidity, surroundings more gestural, flattned • Influenced by Japanese printmaking MARY CASSATT, The Bath, ca. 1892. Fig. 13-6.
    28. 28. Post-Impressionism Dates and Places: • 1890 to 1905 • France People: • Urbanization • Café society • Colonization GEORGES SEURAT, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, 1884–1886. Fig. 13-8.
    29. 29. Post-Impressionism Themes: • Urban life • Landscape • Exotic themes Forms: • No single approach • Rejection of illusionism, window onto the world • Expressive use of color, line, brush stroke • Individual exploration of feeling, mental state VINCENT VAN GOGH, Starry Night, 1889. Fig. 13-10. Looking at the stars always makes me dream… Why, I ask myself, shouldn’t the shining dots of the sky be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France? Just as we take the train to gt to Tarascon or Rouen, We take death to reach a star. - van Gogh
    30. 30. Post-Impressionism VINCENT VAN GOGH, Starry Night, 1889. Fig. 13-10.
    31. 31. Post-Impressionism HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC, At the Moulin Rouge, 1892–1895. Fig. 13-7.
    32. 32. Post-Impressionism • Bohemian Parisian nightlife (Montmarte) • Influence of Japanese prints • Expressive exaggeration of forms, lines • Oblique and asymmetrical composition • Expressive use of non-local color (garish, artificial) HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC At the Moulin Rouge, 1892–1895, Fig. 13-7.
    33. 33. Symbolist & Fin-de-Siecle Painting Dates and Places: • End of 19th century • Western Europe People: • Hedonism, pessimism, escapism at the end of century • Influence of psychiatry and study of mind Gustav Klimt, The Kiss, 1907-08, oil on canvas, 6’x6’ fig. 13-17
    34. 34. Symbolist & Fin-de-Siecle Painting Themes: • Fantasy, dreamlike images • Mysterious, exotic • Nightmarish Forms: • Not a unified style • Expressive use of form and color • Rejected illusionism HENRI ROUSSEAU, Sleeping Gypsy, 1897. Fig. 13-15.
    35. 35. Symbolist Painting EDVARD MUNCH, The Scream, 1893. Fig. 13-16.
    36. 36. Symbolist Painting • Angst of modern, urban life • State of mind, madness • Expressive distortion of form • Expressive non-local color • Circular movement EDVARD MUNCH, The Scream, 1893. Fig. 13-16.
    37. 37. Sculpture AUGUSTE RODIN, The Gates of Hell, 1880-1900, bronze, 20’10” x 13’1”
    38. 38. Sculpture • Realist and Impressionist treatment (play of light and dark) • To give anatomy emotional intensity and directness • Textured surfaces worked over in clay, then cast in bronze • 20-yr. project, left unfinished • Inspired by Dante’s Inferno and Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil • Almost 200 writhing, tormented figures in low to high relief moving in undefined space • Watched over by a version of The Thinker AUGUSTE RODIN, The Gates of Hell, 1880-1900, bronze, 20’10” x 13’1”
    39. 39. Renaissance vs. Symbolist Sculpture Lorenzo Ghiberti, Gates of Paradise, Baptistery of San Giovanni, Florence, Italy, 1425 Rodin, The Gates of Hell, 1880-1900, bronze, 20’10” x 13’1”
    40. 40. Architecture 1870-1900 • Created for exhibition • Honesty of structure and purpose • Skeleton exposed • Transparent ALEXANDRE-GUSTAVE EIFFEL, Eiffel Tower, 1889. Fig. 13-19.
    41. 41. Architecture 1870-1900 • New material: steel • Skyscraper, open work spaces • Rejects traditions • “Form follows function” • Limited ornament • Honesty to interior organization LOUIS HENRY SULLIVAN, Guaranty (Prudential) Building, 1894–1896. Fig. 13-20.