Japonisme | How did it influenced post-impressionist artists like Van Gogh and Manet?


In this article learn about Japonism and the influence of Japanese art in Western art, particularly in the artists of Post-Impressionism.

Text - Yolanda Silva author of the online course Analysing Art

Cover image – La Japonaise, Madame Monet en costume japonais, Claude Monet (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA)

kimono Claude Monet

What is Japonisme

Until the 19th century Japan remained fairly isolated from the Western World, thus closed to its influences and vice versa.

However, with the British colonization of the 19th century, the Japanese territory begins to open up to outside influences and the old Japanese social system is reformed.Analysing art The girl with the pearl earring

Japanese art is discovered by European artists.

Between 1860 and 1870, there is an immense influx of art objects from Japan, creating a natural fascination with Japanese art and culture.

Japonism designates the exchange of influences between Japanese and European art.

Japonism manifests itself in Western Art mainly through the simplification of colors and perspective.

However, one could not say that it was a copy of the Japanese artistic process, but rather an encounter between both cultures and artistic expressions.

Japonisme – how did it influence the arts?

Japanisme has also greatly influenced Western artists. Some examples:












The Courtesan (1887), Vincent Van Gogh (painting based on a Japanese print; Van Gogh Museum, The Netherlands).


Tissot japonaise









TissotLa Japonaise au Bain (1864), Musée des Beaux arts de Dijon



In fact, by the end of the 19th century, the European market experienced an influx of Japanese products of various kinds.

Among which will be Japanese art, thus initiating Japonisme – a kind of European reinterpretation that integrates Japanese styles into Western art objects.

We also share a storie from van Gogh Museum about the influence of Japanese art on Vincent van Gogh’s work

Inspiration from Japan

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