The trade agreement signed between France and Japan in 1858 and Japan’s participation in the World’s Fairs (beginning with that of Paris in 1867) introduced artists to art objects that challenged the very foundations of the Western aesthetic. Japaneses prints provided new motifs and new ways of representing space. Japanism was a veritable culture shock that marked a turning point in the arts of the nineteenth century by allowing artists to go beyond the simple reinterpretation of past styles.

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