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

Course Dates: 11/01/22 - 08/02/22
Time: 18:00 - 20:30
Location: Online
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.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £79.00

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Course Code: VB580

Available start dates 

Started Tue, eve, 11 Jan - 08 Feb '22

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

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.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

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 online with slide presentations and group discussions. Handouts will be provided by your tutor to support your learning on the course; these handouts will be available online/digitally for download, not printed out for you.

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

You might wish to purchase a notebook for taking notes. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list provided.

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

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

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.