Mstislav Dobuzhinsky and ukiyo-e: new visual horizons

  • Svitlana Shiells
Keywords: Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Japonisme, Mir Iskusstva, ukiyo-e, Hiroshige, Hokusai


For Western modern artists Japonisme was like a new religion – a stimulus that offered salvation from the conservative grasp of academism and unimaginative realism. Fin de siècle Eastern European artists also gradually developed a strong fascination with Japan and its culture. This paper examines one of the most enthusiastic advocates of Japonisme – a Russian-Lithuanian artist Mstislav Dobuzhinsky. Placing Dobuzhinsky’s art in the broader context of Eastern European Japonisme, this paper examines the role of Japanese stimuli in Dobuzhinsky’s artistic pursuits. Starting from the early 1900s, Dobuzhinsky’s art was visibly recast under the influence of Japanese aesthetics. The paper argues that Japanese aesthetics brought electrifying new ideas into Dobuzhinsky’s art and not only played a seminal role in the formation of his style but may have ignited his interest in graphics.
Visual Art