The influence of Japan on Western art in the 19th century

Course Dates: 15/01/20 - 12/02/20
Time: 18:00 - 20:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Explore how 19th century European artists from the Impressionists to Art Nouveau were freed from the conventions of their cultural and artistic restraints by the motifs and philosophy of Japanese art.


What is the course about?

This course will explore how the art and culture of Japan inspired 19th century European artists. After an introduction to the Japanese culture that was transported to Europe in the 1850s, we will look at how specific artists and movements adopted and transformed Japanese art to suit their own artistic practice. It will conclude with how Japanese art changed the direction of European modernism as a whole.

This course is structured around lectures and class discussions exploring relevant concepts and historical questions.

What will we cover?

• ‘Pictures of the Floating World’ (Ukiyo-e), the Edo Period (1615–1868), its major artists and themes: Utamaro, Hiroshige, Hokusai
• Japonisme revolution in France: Émile Zola, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet and the Impressionist circle.
• Japonisme as philosophical change: Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, the Nabis, Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt.
• Open and intimate, Japonism in Britain and America: James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Frank Lloyd Wright.
• Sensual aesthetics and the development of art nouveau: Gustav Klimt, Aubrey Beardsley and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

After lecture and discussion you should be able to:
• Identify visual elements of Ukiyo-e apparent in key 19th century art works
• Explain how the cultural influence of Japan impacted the artistic practice of at least 2 major 19th century European artists
• Demonstrate an understanding of the affinities of Japanese and European cultures in the mid-late 19th century.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is suitable for all levels.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught with slide-based lectures, note sheets and group discussions.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You might wish to bring a notebook. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You might also be interested in:
VB140/ VB816 - Art Evolutions: Pre-Raphaelites to Expressionism.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 3 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

A very informative course delivered in an explicit manner.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 07/03/2019)
Absolutely do it, you will not be disappointed
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 13/02/2019)
This is a great course. It goes well beyond a general understanding of the influences of Japan to a highly informed and well researched study. The tutor is excellent.
Course Rating
Review by Anita / (Posted on 09/02/2019)
Tutor Biographies
Sarah Jaffray

Sarah Jaffray received her BA and MA in Art History with an emphasis in French Modernism and a minor in the Italian Renaissance. She holds a second MA in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London. Sarah was a lecturer for several colleges and universities in the Los Angeles area before relocating to London to be with her family. For the past three years she has worked as an educator in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum and at Wellcome Collection. Her interests include Modernism, drawing, artistic process, collaboration, cultural theory, and the intersection of art and technology. She is currently researching the relationship of language and drawing.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: VB242

Wed, eve, 15 Jan - 12 Feb '20

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Full fee: £129.00
Senior fee: £129.00
Concession: £79.00

Or call to enrol: 222-66-889-99

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Any questions? [email protected]
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online . You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.

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