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Picturing a World

Lilla Cabot Perry and Japan

Art historian Christine Guth has alerted me to the time Lilla Cabot Perry spent in Japan, beginning in 1897. Perry, whose style was much influenced by Claude Monet's Impressionism painted as many as thirty-five pictures of Mount Fuji, but this intimate, domestic scene of a woman showing a picture book to two little girls seems to me more likely to inspire a story.


It's interesting that the child in the middle stares out as if at a camera. That might suggest an awareness of a fourth person in the room. Perry? a narrator? another character? Turn it around: what might the painting suggest about a Western artist in Japan at the turn of the 20th C?


For more about Perry and Japonisme, click here and here.


Image via Wikipedia where you can view higher resolutions

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