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UAL Research Online

What is Japonisme? terminology and interpretation

Watanabe, Toshio (2010) What is Japonisme? terminology and interpretation. In: Art of Japan, Japanisms and Polish-Japanese Art Relations, 21st - 23rd October 2010, Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology, Krakow. (Unpublished)

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Watanabe, Toshio

This paper attempts to define what the term ‘Japonisme’ means by examining its historical development. Gabriel Weisberg has defined it as ‘taste for things Japanese’ and that was how it was used during the second half of the 19th century in France together with other terms such as Japonaiserie or Japonnerie. Then during the 1960s and 70s some art historians gave the term a new meaning of artistic absorption of formal elements of Japanese art without specific reference to Japanese motifs. Then they interpreted such Japonisme as superior to superficial inclusion of Japanese motifs, which they called Japonaiserie, and argued that this Japonaiserie always happens before Japonisme. Already in 1991 I have argued that this interpretation cannot be sustained, though this erroneous notion still lives on even now. I should also like to further this debate by discussing the term ‘Japanism’ to differentiate it from that of ‘Japonisme’.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

A version of this paper was published in 2012. For more information, please see: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/6041

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: Japonisme, Japonaiserie, Japanism
Your affiliations with UAL: Research Centres/Networks > Transnational Art Identity and Nation (TrAIN)
Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Date: 22 October 2010
Funders: The Polish Society of Oriental Art
Event Location: Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology, Krakow
Projects or Series: Research Outputs Review (April 2010 - April 2011)
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2013 16:39
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 04:46
Item ID: 6042
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/6042

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