Renegade Edo and Paris
Japanese Prints and Toulouse-Lautrec
- PUBLISHED: July 2023
- SUBJECT LISTING: Art History / European Art, Art History / Asian Art
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 104 Pages, 9.5 x 10.7 in, 70 color illus.
- ISBN: 9780932216076
- Publisher: Seattle Art Museum
Both the Edo period (1603–1868) in Japan and the late nineteenth century in France witnessed a multitude of challenges to the status quo from the rising middle class. In Edo (present-day Tokyo), townspeople pursued hedonistic lifestyles as a way of defying the state-sanctioned social hierarchy that positioned them at the bottom. Their new pastimes supplied subject matter for ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world). Many such pictures arrived in France in the 1860s, a time when French art and society were undergoing substantial changes. Fin-de-siècle Paris, like Edo before it, saw the rise of antiestablishment attitudes and a Bohemian subculture. As artists searched for fresh and more expressive forms, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901) and his contemporaries were drawn to novel Japanese prints.
While ukiyo-e's formal influences on Toulouse-Lautrec and his peers have been well studied, the shared subversive hedonism that underlies these artworks has been less examined. Through a wide selection of Japanese prints and Toulouse-Lautrec works, this book offers a critical look at the renegade spirit inhabiting the graphic arts in both Edo and Paris, highlighting the social impulses behind a burgeoning art production.
Exhibition dates: Seattle Art Museum, July 21–December 3, 2023
Authors & Contributors
Xiaojin Wu is Luther W. Brady Curator of Japanese Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Previously she was Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation Curator of Japanese and Korean Art at the Seattle Art Museum. Mary Weaver Chapin is curator of prints and drawings at the Portland Art Museum.