Commodore Perry's arrival in Japan in 1854 opened the country's borders to Western commerce. Within a few years, Western designers and artists, inspired by imported Japanese objects, began to interpret nature from a new perspective. Among the most innovative designers to adopt "Japonisme," as the phenomenon became known, was Eugène Rousseau. Initially, he specialized in ceramics, but in the late 1870s and early 1880s, Rousseau produced designs for glass manufactured by Appert Frères in Clichy. At the 1878 Exposition Universelle, he exhibited some remarkable examples of glass produced in collaboration with the glass factory of Appert Frères. In this instance, the image of the carp in the swirling waters was taken from an "ukiyo-e" print in Hokusai's "Manga," a series of woodblock prints based on the artist's sketches of nature.


  • Title: Carp Vase
  • Creator Lifespan: 1827/1891
  • Creator Nationality: French
  • Date Created: 1878-1884
  • Physical Dimensions: h18.415 cm
  • Type: vases
  • Rights: Acquired by William T. Walters
  • External Link: The Walters Art Museum
  • Medium: layered and engraved glass
  • Provenance: William T. Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
  • Place of Origin: Clichy, France
  • Inscriptions: [Signature] E Rousseau; [Inscription] Paris
  • ExhibitionHistory: Japonisme: Japanese Influence in French Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland; Rutgers University Art Museum, New Brunswick; The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1975-1976; 3000 Years of Glass: Treasures from The Walters Art Gallery. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1982; Le Japonisme. Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris; Musee National d' Art Occidental, Tokyo. 1988
  • Artist: Eugène Rousseau

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