The collections at Loggia explore select areas of study in art and art history, architecture and design, the decorative arts, industrial design, and classical studies such as Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythology.

Gardner's Art Through the Ages

This book is the classic reference for the study of art. It features a history of artists and their works, as well as lucid and engaging descriptions of the styles and periods of art history. Highly recommended for both students and scholars.



home | art | articles | Artistic Influences from Asia

Artistic Influences from Asia

Today, there are few periods or styles in the history of art that are as popular as Impressionism. Almost everyone can appreciate the serene beauty of a water lily pond painted by Claude Monet or admire the way Mary Cassatt portrayed the tender bond between mother and child. But these timelessly appealing images are more than just pleasingly pretty pictures - they are also reflections of an era of artistic innovation. When enjoying the works of the Impressionists we sometimes overlook the fact that these paintings were literally revolutionary works of art. And the decorative arts - especially decorative arts from Japan - were a key source of inspiration in this important art movement.

Many of the Impressionist artists (including Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, and Edgar Degas) were influenced by ceramics and prints from Asia. As these Western artists came into contact with luxurious items from the East, they began to appreciate the qualities inherent in Asian design. The linear emphasis and strong diagonal perspective of Japanese prints in particular appealed to painters who were seeking alternatives to the conservative conventions of contemporary art. Japanese prints, in effect, introduced these artists to an entirely different and intriguing way of looking at the world, and this is consequently reflected in the paintings of the Impressionists.

Nineteenth century artists outside of the Impressionist group were also inspired by Asian design. Vincent Van Gogh, for instance, found the flat areas of color and linear qualities of Japanese prints sympathetic to his emerging style of painting. The artist was so taken with a couple of prints, in fact, that he made his own reproductions, using his distinctive painterly technique (an example is his version of The Courtesan). Likewise, the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, who is remembered for such works as The Kiss, also integrated many of the elements of Asian and other decorative arts (including Byzantine mosaics) into his works. This synthesis of Eastern and Western design allowed Klimt to create a style that is strikingly fresh and modern, and in effect helped him to break free from the bonds of European tradition.

Because we are so familiar with the works of such painters as Monet and Van Gogh in this century, sometimes the debt these fine artists owe to decorative art is ignored. But the decorative arts have a magnificent history, and will continue to enrich our homes, lives, and imaginations.

The Art Book

This beautiful book is sure to enhance any art lover's library. It features a collection of art masterpieces, presented in a format that emphasizes the selected works of painting and sculpture. Stunning color images grace the pages, and every picture is accompanied by a concise description of each featured work and artist.