Japonism - a new perspective
When trade relations between Japan and the West were restored in the 1850s, it sparked a new fashion for Japanese art and design. The market got flooded with beautiful woodblock prints and teaware. The prints offered a very different perspective than Western art; they were engaging, taking away the distance between the art and the viewer. Rebelling young designers saw the answer to their unhappiness with the staleness and pomp of Victorian design, which had become more about signifying the wealth of the owner's object than with beauty. And so the Aesthetic Movement was born, and a major strand of it was Japonism.
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