Asian Influence On European Art

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From the 16th century up until modern day, Asia has had, and continues to have, a huge influence in European art. Although the impact of this influence has fluctuated over the years, its presence in art and society has always been noted. Asian influence has been the source of many great European works that would not and could not exist without its impact. One of the earliest examples of artwork that began in Asia and then travelled to Europe is ceramics. Ceramics reached Europe from Asia in the late Middle Ages and were truly prized pieces, often provided with mountings. In later centuries, other types of Chinese porcelain became more popular as it was more versatile and aesthetically pleasing. The Chinese had actually mastered the production…show more content…
Paintings which were on silk or paper were limited in numbers, and were only done by professional artists in China. Even calligraphy was not sought out, which I find incredibly surprising considering in the modern world, so many types of art are influenced by Chinese calligraphy alone – tattoos, souvenirs, fashion, etc. Over time, popularity of Chinese painting did not increase and the European’s perspective on Chinese painting was biased and negative. Due to such a negative perception, Chinese painting had little impact on painters in Europe. For example, a Chinese porcelain vase could be seen in a still life painting, but there was no real influence at this time in history. Now, however, Chinese paintings are not only sought after, but often highly valuable (on par with original Chinese…show more content…
Similar to painting, interest in Asian-style architecture came about late in Europe (as compared to ceramics and engravings), and for a long time the Chinese architectural style, forms and principles were not well understood. Even when Chinese architecture became more popular in the Western world, Europeans were very meticulous in their selection of Chinese architectural types, and their choices regarding which buildings would be constructed in this manner. Asian-style architecture was ill-received for similar reasons as painting, being that information about Chinese architecture was scarce (mostly because Chinese monuments and buildings couldn’t be shipped to Europe like ceramics or engravings could be). As well as the lack of knowledge about Chinese architecture, there was again the feeling that European architecture was prestigious. Though, in my opinion, possibly the biggest reason that Chinese architecture didn’t take off in Europe until later is due to a true clash of cultures. European architecture versus Chinese architecture, although beautiful individually, do not work well together (and not just aesthetically). European architecture reflects solemnity and religion whereas Chinese architecture reflects art and fashion. They are not compatible in the same space at all. Today, there is much more Asian influence in European art than there ever has been before. This is mostly because of the internet;

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