six degrees of japanese illustration

our own spin on the popular theory and parlor game
August 27, 2014  |   column: DELIBERATE POLISH

japonism—the japanese influence on european art—is often discussed in the same breath as impressionism. but if we open the conversation the reach goes, quite fascinatingly, much further.

we start with kitagawa utamaro (1753-1806), utagawa hiroshige (1797-1858) and keisai eisen (1790-1848), japan’s most highly regarded ukiyo-e artists.

then, it gets fabulously complicated. take a quick hop, skip and a jump and you’ll see that post-impressionist henri de toulouse-lautrec for instance—inspired by both impressionists manet and degas and these ukiyo-e masters—went on to inspire gustav klimt and…andy warhol.

have a read through our chart below: the relationships may surprise you. plus, on the subject of lautrec, take a peek the MoMA exhibit featuring over 100 of his groundbreaking prints and posters, through march 2015.


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