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Cost: $45 (VMFA members $35)

Europe’s Fascination with the East: From Orientalism to Japonisme

with Dr. Mitchell Merling, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art and Kristie Couser, Curatorial Assistant for the Mellon Collections

Saturdays, May 9 & 16, 2 – 3:30 pm

Reynolds Lecture Hall

This two-part course will explore the history of western Europe’s artistic fascination with the people and locales of north Africa, the Middle East, and east Asia. The first session examines the practitioners of French impressionism who engaged with the aesthetics of Japanese art, among them Claude Monet who famously collected ukiyo-e prints and designed a Japanese-inspired water garden surrounding his home and studio at Giverny. The second session focuses on nineteenth-century Romantic and Academic artists, including French Orientalist painter Eugène Delacroix.

This course, offered in conjunction with the exhibition Félix Bracquemond: Impressionist Innovator (VMFA Mellon Focus galleries, Feb 13 – Oct 4, 2015), will also interpret how Bracquemond’s etchings and ceramics express stylistic elements of Japonisme.

Image: Portrait of Edmond de Goncourt, 1882, Felix Bracquemond (French, 1833-1914), etching and engraving. Promised gift of Frank Raysor