Fascination: The Love Affair Between French and Japanese Printmaking
Drawing on the Museum's collection of French lithographs and Japanese colored woodblock prints, Fascination is a study of the impact that the "cult of Japan" had on late-nineteenth century French printmaking. French artists Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Jules Chéret, and Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen utilized the Japanese design elements of pattern, flat blocks of color, and diagonal compositions to create some of the most iconic prints from the Art Nouveau period.
A selection of works by acclaimed woodblock printers Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III), Hiroshige I, and Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi are paired with the French prints to demonstrate the principles from which the Art Nouveau artists drew. Visitors will notice not only the similarity in style but also in subject as the collections both highlight stage actors and courtesans from the respective demimonde and ukiyo subcultures.