Visual & Decorative Arts Blog

Esme Chapman

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Art of Fine Gifts: Japanese Woodblocks – Influences and Outcomes

Posted by Esme Chapman

Japanese Beginnings?

Although beautiful woodblock prints are often considered the epitome of quintessentially Japanese art, in reality many manifest strong Western influences. For example, as a young man, Hokusai was particularly intrigued by European-style perspective. He uses such perspective in his most famous work, The Great Wave off Kanagawa (pictured below), to stunning effect; the contrast between the huge rising wave in the foreground and the almost imperceptible figure of Mount Fuji in the background is highly effective, and is perfectly complimented by the stark contrast between the movement and energy of the wave against the stillness and stability of the mountain.

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Topics: Gustav Klimt, Hokusai, Japanese woodblock prints, Claude Monet, art nouveau

Van Gogh's Letters: The Bedroom

Posted by Esme Chapman

Throughout his life Van Gogh wrote many letters to his friends, family and fellow artists. In these letters he often discussed his own artworks, and one such example regards Van Gogh’s 1888 oil painting The Bedroom, which he discusses in a letter to his brother Theo, shown below:

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Topics: Vincent van Gogh, Masterpieces of Art, art calendars

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