Sunday, March 27, 2011

Israeli Japonism

A post dedicated to my beloved Japan.
These two beautiful napkins were also found in my mom's collection. Both show a western (or Israeli to be more accurate) interpretation of Japanese art and design. Or anyway, what people thought was in those days..

opened (plus some age stains)


The first napkin is made out of very very delicate and soft paper which almost crumbled in my hands.
Not the usual rough type I'm used to find in the collection.
It shows a loose handed draw of probably mountain Fuji and 2 pagodas surrounded by a pink Sakura (cherry) or plum blossom. The illustration seems to have all the means to create a "Japanese" atmosphere but still there's something about the little details that feels like it's not the real thing we're seeing now. 
Stuff like the shape of the Sakura (cherry) flowers, the loose stroke and the background coloring make you feel that the artist might have never been to Japan and probably had drawn it with the aid of a photo and some and a hunch.
Anyways, this napkin is a real beauty. The 4 color print, special paper and the nicely cut edges show a good technical skill. A keeper!



The second and also adorable napkin shows a lovely scene with some busy geishas. Here the hand drawing is pretty loose too. Maybe to cover for some lack of reference.. Seems like the shrine or temple was assembled with some quick strokes because the illustrator had no idea how a real one looks like. No Google in those days. Anyway he added some bells at the corners just in case.

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