Degas and the Art of Japan

Overview

Many celebrated pictures by Edgar Degas (1834–1917)—showing ballet dancers, popular performers, and bathers, for example—were indebted to Japanese images of similar contemporary subjects. Degas and his generation were captivated by Japanese culture: he assembled his own collection of Ukiyo-e prints and several of his friends were leading authorities on artists such as Hokusai, Utamaro, and Hiroshige.

Degas and the Art of Japan explores the French Impressionist’s lifelong ...

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Overview

Many celebrated pictures by Edgar Degas (1834–1917)—showing ballet dancers, popular performers, and bathers, for example—were indebted to Japanese images of similar contemporary subjects. Degas and his generation were captivated by Japanese culture: he assembled his own collection of Ukiyo-e prints and several of his friends were leading authorities on artists such as Hokusai, Utamaro, and Hiroshige.

Degas and the Art of Japan explores the French Impressionist’s lifelong fascination with the work of his Japanese counterparts. Adding substantially to previous studies, the authors propose new links between some of Degas’s characteristic themes, such as laundresses and horse racing, and the woodblock designs of Ukiyo-e masters. Fresh light is also shed on another signature trait of the artist—his fascination with women in their public and private lives—which is echoed in the prevalence of female subjects in Japanese woodblock imagery.  Equally significant are revelations about Degas’s access to specific Japanese prints belonging to collectors and dealers in Paris.

Works by Degas in all media are considered—paintings, pastels, drawings, lithographs, etchings, monotypes, and sculpture—and juxtaposed with Japanese prints, illustrated books, and decorated fans. Comparable human predicaments and parallels in visual language are all part of this wide-ranging analysis, which deepens our understanding of one of the world’s greatest artists.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300126334
  • Publisher: Reading Public Museum
  • Publication date: 10/30/2007
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 1,234,469
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jill DeVonyar, an independent scholar and curator, co-authored Degas and the Dance with Richard Kendall. Curator at Large at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Kendall is the author of Degas: Beyond Impressionism, Degas and the Little Dancer, and Degas Landscapes, all published by Yale.

 

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