Japonisme in the Fine Arts of the Czech Lands
Japonisme is a phenomenon that designates how the influences of the Japanese aesthetic and art were adopted by Western culture from the second half of the 19th century. In the Czech lands exotic Romanticism in literature as well as the frenzy to collect Japanese art contributed to the development of Japonisme in the visual arts. The first wave of Japanese influence reached the country in the 1880s. Initially, this Japanese fad was reflected strictly in the form of imitations of original Japanese art objects, with the purpose of improving the aesthetic quality and craftsmanship of artifacts, while evoking a Japanese mood and exotic atmosphere. Today, these objects are referred to as Japonaiseries. Japonisme had come to the forefront in the Czech lands with the onset of the Art Nouveau movement in the 1890s, and was intermediated by the young generation of fine artists seeking a modern expression in art. In the Czech lands, the craze for Japonaiseries repeated itself in several fashionable waves that lasted until approximately the first third of the 20th century.
The book reveals Japanese inspirations in the fine arts within the cultural and social context of the Czech lands at that time based not only on archival materials but also on full-coloured illustrations of which a great number was published for the very first time. The publication also reflects the collecting activities and the early manifestations of Japanese art in exhibitions, lectures and articles from ca 1860s to 1930s.
Author: Markéta Hánová
Editing: Lenka Zapletalová
Translation: Linda Paukertová
Graphic layout and typesetting: Lada Krupková Křesadlová, Jiří Krupka
Printing: Libertas, a.s., Praha
Published by the National Gallery in Prague in 2010. First edition.
Format: 232 pages, 231 full-coloured illustrations, 245 x 335 mm, soft covers.
Czech and English editions, Glossary of Japanese Terms, Bibliography, Index.
Price: 380 CZK (15 EUR)
The book is available at the National Gallery bookshops or by e-mail order: