The Arts of the Meiji Period
From the 1860s to the 1890s, the rise of Japonisme and the Art Nouveau movement meant few could ignore or resist the obsession with all things Japanese. Superbly crafted and often highly decorated Japanese objects—lacquer, metalwork, ceramics, enamels, and other decorative items—stimulated and inspired Western artists and craftsmen to produce their own works. Arts of the Meiji period (1868–1912) were displayed at international exhibitions, in the galleries of influential dealers, and at fashionable stores.
Artists from van Gogh, Whistler, Monet, and Edouard Manet to Klimt and Schiele were all, to varying degrees, influenced by the Japanese art. Van Gogh himself stated that he owed his inspiration to Japanese art, but he was probably not conscious of the full extent to which art in Europe had already been influenced by that of Japan.