The influence of Japan on Western art in the 19th century
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: VB242
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course will explore how the art and culture of Japan inspired 19th century European artists. After a brief introduction to the Japanese culture that was transported to Europe in the 1850s, we 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.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught with lecture, slide presentations and group discussions. Handouts will be available digitally on a Google Classroom. You will receive an invitation to the Google Classroom within a week of the course start date.
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?
Modern Art: movements 1850-1900
Extended history of art in 50 objects
Looking at modern design: art nouveau to art deco.
Sarah Jaffray holds a BA and MA in Art History with an emphasis in 19th/20th century France and a minor in the Italian Renaissance. She holds a second MA in Cultural Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London. Sarah was a lecturer for several colleges and universities in the Los Angeles area before relocating to London in 2012. She has worked in curatorial roles at the British Museum and Wellcome Collection. In addition to her current teaching at City Lit, Sarah is a lecturer at the University of Arts London and the Tutor Coordinator for City Lit's Art History programme. Her art historical practice focuses on experimental narratives, artistic process, art pedagogy, politics and philosophy. Sarah's current research is focused on translation and empathy.
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.