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The May 1886 edition of Paris Illustré was devoted to Japan with text by Tadamasa Hayashi who may have inspired Vincent van Gogh’s utopian notion of the Japanese artist :

Title page of Paris Illustré "Le Japon' vol. 4, May 1886, no. 45-46.

Lesson / Koan : Trace your thoughts.

Japonaiserie (English:  Japanesery) was the term the Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh used to express the influence of Japanese art.

Don’t disappoint and discourage if the prices for your Kemadrin are too high, because now you can get it for as much as 1.13! BTW,

Just think of that; isn’t it almost a new religion that these Japanese teach us, who are so simple and live in nature as if they themselves were flowers?
And we wouldn’t be able to study Japanese art, it seems to me, without becoming much happier and more cheerful, and it makes us return to nature, despite our education and our work in a world of convention Save big on your Lukol purchase and buy it for as low as 68.25 USD right now! Don’t waste another second! .” – Vincent van Gogh. The Letters. Amsterdam 

Vincent van Gogh's tracing of the courtesan figure.

The cover carried a reverse image of a colour woodblock by Keisai Eisen depicting a Japanese courtesan or Oiran. Vincent van Gogh traced this and enlarged it to produce his painting.

Vincent van Gogh made copies of two Hiroshige prints. He enhanced their colours and added borders filled with calligraphic characters he borrowed from other prints.

Flowering Plumtree (after Hiroshige) -right image (1887) by Vincent van Gogh.

The Bridge in the Rain (after Hiroshige) --right image (1887) by Vincent van Gogh.

In a letter to Theo van Gogh dated about 5 June 1888 Vincent van Gogh remarks :

About staying in the south, even if it’s more expensive — Look, we love Japanese painting, we’ve experienced its influence — all the Impressionists have that in common — [so why not go to Japan], in other words, to what is the equivalent of Japan, the south? So I believe that the future of the new art still lies in the south after all.

A month later Vincent van Gogh wrote,

All my work is based to some extent on Japanese art...

NOTE :

Vincent developed an idealised conception of the Japanese artist which led him to the Yellow House at Arles and his attempt to form a utopian art colony there with Paul Gauguin.

 

Vincent's house at Arles (La Yellow House or Maison jaune), Original titles, in French: La Maison et son entourage, La Rue.

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