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Giapponismo in andata e ritorno.

Round trip Japonism.

In the second half of the nineteenth century all the greatest masters of painting were influenced by Japanese art.

Van Gogh, Monet, Toulouse Lautrec and others were attracted to the style of Japanese artists, which came to Europe through Ukiyo-e prints.


These great painters drew inspiration from the use of flat colors, from the synthesis of shapes, from the cut of the figures, which had nothing to do with the whole Western tradition.

They integrated elements of the oriental style with their painting, both to expand their expressive possibilities and to use an "exotic" fashion which, at the time, was a great success.


And in Japan?

Of course, the communication was not one-way and just as Japanese prints arrived in the West, so too did the images of Western art arrive to the artists of Japan.

After centuries of feudalism and almost complete isolation, Japan undergoes a process of profound economic, technical and social renewal according to Western models.


Painting is divided into two "currents": Nihonga, which while modernizing itself, follows the Japanese tradition and style, e "Yoga" (which has nothing to do with physical exercises) which literally means "Western-style painting".

The two styles are also different in the use of materials, colors, supports and subjects.


In 1876 the Japanese government he decided to open a "western" style school of fine arts and there was an Italian among the consultants: Antonio Fontanesi. Closed 3 years later due to the reaction of the Japanese, who did not accept such a sudden westernization, it was reopened a few years later and accepted as one of the components of art.


Today, as we all know, there is no style or "school" with its own characteristics that distinguish it, and even in Japan the two styles are no longer so separate.

Thus, while men were preparing to destroy each other, art found a way to unite two so different worlds.


A.G. Fadini

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