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The Legion of Honor

"Japanesque: The Japanese Print
in the Era of Impressionism"
 — Oct 16, 2010 - Jan 9, 2011

Japanesque: The Japanese Print
in the Era of Impressionism

"Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism" exhibit introduces audiences to the development of the Japanese print over two centuries (1700–1900) and reveals its profound influence on Western art during the era of Impressionism.

The term "Japanesque" was first used in English in the mid 1880s to refer to the Japanese style or manner.



"Japanesque" features more than 250 prints, drawings, paintings, and artist’s books. The exhibit is divided into three sections:

  • Evolution
    - The Origin and Development
    of the Japanese Color Woodcut
  • Essence
    - The Aesthetic of Ukiyo-e Prints
  • Influence
    - European Artists and Japanisme

Katsushika Hokusai, Cresting Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa (The Great Wave) from the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, 1830-1832 - on display at Japanesque exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, CA
Katsushika Hokusai, Cresting Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa (The Great Wave) from the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, 1830-1832

View iconic images such as Hokusai's "The Great Wave" (Barry's favorite, pictured above) and "Fuji above the Lightning" from the series "36 Views of Mount Fuji " (1831–1834) — in addition to Hiroshige's "Precincts of the Tenjin Shrine at Kameido" (Alana's favorite; pictured top right of page) and "Plum Orchard" (pictured below), both from his famous series "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo" (1857).

Utagawa Hiroshige, The Plum Orchard
Utagawa Hiroshige, The Plum Orchard
at Kameido from the series
One Hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo, 1857, color woodcut with mica

Japanese books at Japanesque exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, CA

This fascinating exhibit is presented in connection with the de Young exhibition ("Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay") which features works by many artists who were profoundly influenced by Japanese prints.



Henri Riviere, The Tower under Construction
Henri Riviere, The Tower under Construction,
As Seen from the Trocadero from the book
Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower, 1902,
color lithograph, ©

Henri Rivière’s homage to Hokusai "Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower "(1902) is also featured (pictured above).

Utagawa Hiroshige, View of Matsushima and Mt. Tomi (?)
Utagawa Hiroshige, View of Matsushima and Mt. Tomi [?] in Mutsu Province from the series Pictures of Famous Places in the Sixty-Odd Provinces, 1853–1856, color woodcut

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,
Divan Japonais, 1893, color lithograph poster

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, The Seated Clown
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, The Seated Clown (Mademoiselle Cha-U-Kao) from the album Elles, 1896, color lithograph

Elizabeth Colwell, Sunset at Eagle Bay (1910-1915), color woodcut on Japanese paper - Japanesque exhibit at Legion of Honor in SF

Elizabeth Colwell's "Sunset at Eagle Bay" (1910-1915), color woodcut on Japanese paper (picured above) is one of our favorite pieces in the exhibit — the delicate carving and utilization of bright colors indicate her appreciation of ukiyo-e landscape prints.

ALL 36 prints from the series "Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower" are currently on display at the Japanesque exhibit — and 31 of the 36 prints from the the series "36 Views of Mount Fuji" can be seen.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, The Taira Ghosts Preparing to Attack Yoshitsune, 1851-1852. Color woodcut triptych - Japanesque exhibit at the de Young
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, The Taira Ghosts Preparing to Attack Yoshitsune, 1851-1852. Color woodcut triptych

Don't miss this amazing exhibit — it's so interesting to see how our favorite Impressionist and Post Impressionist artists were so profoundly influenced by Japanese prints which were discovered in the 1860s.

FYI... the term "Impressionists" was born in 1874 — and today, Impressionism is recognized as one of the most important art movements in the 19th century.

More Info and Buy Tickets
to Japanesque exhibit

 

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Popular subjects for color woodcuts, bridges feature prominently throughout Hiroshige's "One Hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo." Images of drum bridges like the one pictured above may have inspired Monet to build a similar bridge for the gardens at his home in Giverny (northwest of Paris) to feature it in his painting "The Water-Lily Pond" (1899), now in the National Gallery, London.


Kitagawa Utamaro, Woman Blowing a Pinwheel for Her Son
Kitagawa Utamaro, Woman Blowing a Pinwheel for Her Son from the series Physiognomies of Ten Women, 1792–1793, color woodcut


Toshusai Sharaku, The Actor Sakata Hangoro III as Fijikawa Mizuemon in the Play "Hana ayame Bunroku Soga," Miyako Theater, from an untitled series of half-length portraits of actors, 1794 - part of Japanesque exhibit at the Legion of Honor
Toshusai Sharaku, The Actor Sakata Hangoro III as Fijikawa Mizuemon in the Play "Hana ayame Bunroku Soga," Miyako Theater, from an untitled series of half-length portraits of actors, 1794

Sharaku's print (pictured above) is one from a set of 28 large, close-up portraits notable for the intense and expressive faces of the actors and the gray mica backgrounds on which they are placed — it is one of the most valuable pieces in the Japanesque exhibit.


Museum Hours
Open six days a week,
Tues-Sun 9:30am–5:15pm.

Open July 4
from 9:30am-3pm.

Closed January 1, Thanksgiving Day,
and December 25.


More Info — Tickets
The Legion of Honor
Lincoln Park
34th Avenue & Clement

415-750-3600

Google Map of
The Legion of Honor


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