One of the things I'll have to think about is whether Jeanette is more attracted to Japanese objects per se or to the art of Western Japonists, e.g., Henri Somm—or Mary Cassatt. Certainly, one of Jeanette's friends can be caught up in the craze for netsukes and small decorative objects. They all love fans and parasols. Amy can add Japanese blue-and-white to her teacup collection. Meanwhile, I love this image for reflecting my process of musing. See also Somm's Fantaisies Japonaises of 1879
Picturing a World
Really, I have nothing to say about this print except, Wow! Look!
Image via Harvard Musuems
Helen Hyde, Japoniste
Back to a possible future for my character, Jeanette Palmer, and Japonisme. I have thought for a long time that children's book illustrations could be one direction for her career to take. In that connection, the Red Rose Girls offer lots of hints. And now, although I don't yet know a thing about it really, the influence of Japanese woodcuts on early twentieth century illustrators seems clear. So hurrah for Helen Hyde! She actually went to Japan and learned woodcut technique. A quick search on-line has quickly turned up three informative, well illustrated websites to get me started: (1) An American in Japan: Helen Hyde. (2) Pioneering Women Printmakers: Helen Hyde and Lilian May Miller in Japan. And (3) In Memoriam Helen Hyde, American Japoniste. If you only look at the picture, enjoy!
Exhibition alert: Women Reframe American Landscape: Susie Barstow & Her Circle is on view at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site from now until October 29th. The website has loads of information and images about this female artist who was as successful in her day as the men whose names are remembered for their grand paintings of the American landscape. Simultaneously comes publication of the first book-length study of her life and art: Susie M. Barstow: Redefining the Hudson River School. I'll be going to the exhibition and look forward to learning more!
Abbéma's Bernhardt fan
A quick follow-up to Bernhardt and Japonisme. Here's a decorated fan painted by female artist Louise Abbéma portraying Sarah Bernhardt in a kimono. What better to inspire some detail or other for a new story set among women in Paris at the time of the 1889 Universal Exposition? For more about the vogue among Western artists for painting Asian-influenced fans, click here.
Image via Wikipedia Commons.
Bernhardt and Japonisme
Sarah Bernhardt made a cameo appearance in Where the Light Falls, so now that I'm using Japonisme as a hook for thinking about a later return to Paris by Jeanette, what fun to find this picture of the Divine Sarah herself painting a model in a kimono!
Japonisme in Fashion
Blog post alert: Japonisme in Fashion. The title says it all. The images range from artists' works to actual garments (including a gowns and cloaks by the House of Worth) to historical photos to this poster for Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado. And for a more scholarly article, be sure to consult Esther Sophia Sünderhauf's The Influence of Japonism on the Parisian Fashion Journals 1860-1900.
It's not hard to find 19thC depictions of women wearing kimonos painted by male artists—Monet, Stevens, Whistler, Chase. But what interests me as I think about how Japonisme might touch my character, Jeanette, is the extent to which female artists drew or painted them. Et voilà, in addition to Marie Danforth Page—Fanny Fleury! She even studied with Carolus-Duran.
Blog post alert: The Origins of L'Art Nouveau: The Bing Empire is firing off all sorts of little explosions in my mind as Japonisme becomes my entry into a What-Came-Next for Jeanette. Take ornamental combs: Was there a connection between Japanese combs and pompadour hairstyles? No answer to that one yet, but a quick Google search led me to Historic Hair Accessories We Can't Stop Thinking About. It's worth a look just for the breadth and excellence of its images. For this particular comb, see also the object page at the V&A.
Marie Danforth Page's Bookbinder
Following up on Christine Guth's book on The Great Wave, I'm looking into Western female artists, who depicted women wearing kimonos or other Japonisme-influenced garments. For instance, Marie Danforth Page! This picture of a craftswoman at the turn of the 20th C in a gorgeous house-robe fits right into interweaving strands of inspiration for my fiction. She even painted herself in a blue-and-white kimono.
Image via Wikipedia Commons.