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Phylis Floyd

French term used to describe a range of European borrowings from Japanese art. It was coined in 1872 by the French critic, collector and printmaker Philippe Burty ‘to designate a new field of study—artistic, historic and ethnographic’, encompassing decorative objects with Japanese designs (similar to 18th-century Chinoiserie), paintings of scenes set in Japan, and Western paintings, prints and decorative arts influenced by Japanese aesthetics. Scholars in the 20th century have distinguished japonaiserie, the depiction of Japanese subjects or objects in a Western style, from Japonisme, the more profound influence of Japanese aesthetics on Western art.

There has been wide debate over who was the first artist in the West to discover Japanese art and over the date of this discovery. According to Bénédite, Félix Bracquemond first came under the influence of Japanese art after seeing the first volume of Katsushika Hokusai’s Hokusai manga (‘Hokusai’s ten thousand sketches’, 1814) at the printshop of ...


Gordon Campbell

[from Fr. potiche: ‘glass vase’]

The mid-19th-century fashion for imitating Japanese or other porcelain by covering the inner surface of glass vessels with designs on paper or sheet gelatine. Those who adopted the craze were called potichomanists.

A Handbook to Potishomachia, or the Art of Ornamenting and Decorating Glass, Giving to it the Appearance of Porcelain...


Gordon Campbell

(b 1827; d 1891).

French glassmaker and ceramicist . He was an early advocate of Japonisme, commissioning Bracquemond family, §1 ’s ‘Japanese’ service (1866) and from 1867 running a studio in Paris, where he imitated Chinese carved jade in glass and applied the decorative techniques of Japanese pottery to glass.

K. Schneck: François Eugene Rousseau: Keramik und Glas an der Schwelle zum Jugendstil...



Patrick Conner

[Spilem; Spillem]

(fl Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, 1770–1810).

Chinese painter for the Western export market. The artist known to Westerners as Spoilum – his Chinese name is uncertain – is first recorded in 1774, as the painter of a ‘reverse-glass’ portrait of a Western merchant. By the following decade he was painting in oils on canvas. Oil paint was an unfamiliar medium in the context of the Chinese pictorial tradition, and its use stemmed from Western influences. However, the Cantonese export painters of the late 18th century rapidly acquired a facility in this medium and, in the case of Spoilum, an individuality that could be regarded, in Western terms, as evidence of original genius.

Spoilum’s portraits, of Chinese and Western sitters alike, share certain idiosyncrasies: a sharply defined outline, a direct, almost quizzical expression, carefully observed costume details and, in the background, a markedly pale passage above the right shoulder. Typical examples are the portraits of the Cantonese silk merchant Eshing (before ...