Bradley Lum

 Japonism is the influence of Japanese art, fashion and aesthetics on Western culture. The term is used particularly to refer to Japanese influence on European art, especially in impressionism. In France the term Japonisme refers to a specific French style which mainly found expression in the fine arts from 1864, while in England it initially had an impact on the decorative arts, with the first documented pieces of furniture in the Anglo-Japanese style completed in 1862, even if the term Anglo-Japanese was used as early as 1851.

From the 1860s, ukiyo-e, Japanese wood-block prints, became a source of inspiration for many European impressionist painters in France and elsewhere, and eventually for Art Nouveau and Cubism. Artists were especially affected by the lack of perspective and shadow, the flat areas of strong color, and the compositional freedom gained by placing the subject off-centre, mostly with a low diagonal axis to the background.

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