Looking East: Western Artists and the Allure of Japan
Helen Burnham and Sarah E. Thompson
There was a craze for all things Japanese in the late-nineteenth and earlytwentieth centuries that brought a correspondingly radical shift in Western art, dubbed japonisme. Leading artists, including Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, were inspired by Japanese art and culture to create works of singular beauty. This lavishly illustrated publication explores this extraordinary moment of cross-cultural exchange by presenting a selection of major paintings, prints, drawings, and decorative arts from the renowned collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Masterpieces by European and American artists are shown along with rare objects, paintings, and prints from the Museum’s Japanese collection, which is one of the finest in the world. With its two introductory essays, emphasizing first Western and then Eastern perspectives, and its four thematically organized chapters, Looking East imparts the sense of discovery and excitement that characterized the development of japonisme in Europe and North America.