Renegade Edo and Paris: Japanese Prints and Toulouse-Lautrec

Renegade Edo and Paris: Japanese Prints and Toulouse-Lautrec

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Renegade Edo and Paris is an unveiling of the shared renegade ethos that characterized the graphic arts and social cultures of eighteenth to nineteenth century Edo (present-day Tokyo) and late nineteenth century Paris. This catalogue features Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints (pictures of the floating world) from the Seattle Art Museum’s Japanese collection, alongside private loans of works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901). 

Both the Edo period (1603–1868) in Japan and the late nineteenth century in France witnessed a multitude of challenges to the status quo from the rising middle class.  In Edo, townspeople pursued hedonistic lifestyles as a way of defying the state-sanctioned social hierarchy that positioned them at the bottom. Their new pastimes supplied subject matter for ukiyo-e. Many such pictures arrived in France in the 1860s, a time when French art and society were experiencing significant changes. As artists searched for fresh and more expressive forms, Toulouse-Lautrec and his contemporaries were drawn to novel Japanese prints.

This exhibition is curated by Xiaojin Wu, Luther W. Brady Curator of Japanese Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (formerly Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation Curator of Japanese and Korean Art at the Seattle Art Museum) and marks the first time that Seattle Asian Art Museum presents an exhibition comparing Japanese and French art.

Publisher:  Seattle Art Museum (June 2023)

Softcover:  104 Pages, 70 color illustrations

ISBN:  9780932216076

Dimensions:  9.5 x 10.7 inches

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