Eastern Wind, Northern Sky

Japanese Art and Culture in a Danish Optic in the Latter Half of the 19th and the Early 20th Centuries

In: Journal of Japonisme
Malene Wagner Japanese art specialist

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Among countries like Germany, France and England, Denmark took part in the ‘japanomania’ that swept the West in the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Key figures in promoting Japanese art were art historian Karl Madsen and artist and museum director Pietro Krohn. Both played a significant role in trying to establish Denmark in the field of Japanese art on a par with serious international art collectors and connoisseurs. Their connections to Justus Brinckmann in Hamburg and Siegfried Bing in Paris enabled them to put on exhibitions that would introduce to a Danish audience a, so far, relatively unknown and ‘exotic’ art and culture. Often perceived in the West as expressing an innate understanding of nature, Japanese art became a source of inspiration for Danish artists and designers, such as Arnold Krog, who would create a synthesis between the Nordic and Japanese in his porcelain works.

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