The Japanese Influence in Late Nineteenth Century British Art, 1862-1880

Morton, Anthony S (2000) The Japanese Influence in Late Nineteenth Century British Art, 1862-1880. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 13819009.pdf] PDF
Download (8MB)


The Japanese Influence in Late Nineteenth Century British Art, 1862-1880 In the latter half of the nineteenth century Japanese art exerted a considerable influence upon English ceramics, metalwork, industrial arts, interior decor and furnishing, fashion, music and literature. British artists, craftsman and designers were inspired by the simple forms and naturalism found in Japanese art. Japanese art offered something new and novel to the British, who were looking for new means of producing art that was neither industrial nor recalling earlier styles. In other words, the opening of Japan's ports to the West can be strongly linked to an opening of British art and design in the sense that the novelty of Japanese art provided the British to more means of fashioning and decorating their art. The purpose of this exhibition and catalogue is two-fold. First, it is meant to demonstrate the Japanese influence in British art and design by comparing Japanese goods with British-made wares and designs. Secondly, it is meant to demonstrate the ways in which the opening of Japan affected British society. Within twenty years of the opening of Japan's ports, there was a craze in Britain for things Japanese or Japanese- inspired. This response, prompted by the leading artists and intellectuals of the day, led to the rise of the English Aesthetic Movement and the idealistic view of "art for art's sake". In many ways, the craze for Japanese goods, or Japanism, inspired a whole new way of looking at and responding to art, beauty, literature and society within Britain. The exhibition is arranged into three main groupings: British designs incorporating Japanese motifs, British adaptation of Japanese design and style, and the Japanese influence in the Victorian interior and related ephemera. Unlike the French and Americans, the British were not heavily influenced by Japanese woodblock prints, though correlations can be made between woodblock prints and British designs. Generally speaking, the British use of Japanese form and decor is restricted to the decorative arts rather than the fine arts. It was in the planning and decorating of rooms, however, where the Japanese influence is most notable. There were a number of ways in which the interior could be decorated. In most cases, however, the simple placement of blue-and- white china and fans within the interior was just enough to have an "aesthetically" pleasing home.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Art history, Design
Date of Award: 2000
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2000-76179
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 16:31
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 16:31

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year