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Friday, July 19, 10am – 4pm


Left: Ando Hiroshige. Arai, Watashi no chakugan, Osekisho (detail), 1855. BF1127. Right: Claude Monet. The Studio Boat (detail), 1876. BF730. Public Domain.

About the Class

Impressionism and Japonisme: Cross-Cultural Exchange in the 19th Century

After a period of isolationism, the ports of Japan reopened to Western ships in the 1850s. In the decades that followed, as trade with countries like the United States and France increased, Japanese art and culture began to influence Western painters, sculptors, and designers. Evidence of this influence can be seen in many of the key artworks of this period, particularly the paintings of the French and American impressionists. The French critic Philippe Burty, whose writings fueled the interest in all things Japanese in the 1870s, coined the term “Japonisme” to describe this sensation, which continued well into the 20th century.

In this one-day workshop, we will explore the immense effect that Japanese art—including ukiyo-e prints, clothing, and fine objects such as fans, porcelain, pottery, and screens—had on Western artists in the late 19th century. We will look at the Japanese influence in works by artists including Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and James Tissot from France; Mary Cassatt, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and James McNeill Whistler from the United States; Alfred Stevens from Belgium; and Vincent van Gogh and George Hendrik Breitner from the Netherlands.

The class is online-only. More about online classes.

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Barnes classes will:

  • Sharpen your observational and critical thinking skills.
  • Improve your ability to communicate about art.
  • Deepen your appreciation for cultures and histories outside your own.

See all classes.


Caterina Y. Pierre

Pierre is professor of art history at the City University of New York at Kingsborough Community College and visiting associate professor at the Pratt Institute, New York. She has taught about art and crime at CUNY Kingsborough, Pratt, and Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York. She is currently preparing a book on cemetery sculpture as political art in the late 19th century, as well as a book on Ernest Durig, a forger of the sculptor Auguste Rodin.

Recent Barnes Class Testimonials

“The teacher was so smart, and knowledgeable about everything: art history, architecture, interior design, and literature! What a breadth of knowledge!” Paris in the 1920s: Art, Design, Fashion, and Literature with Caterina Pierre

“The instructor was first-rate. Poised, professional yet also inviting and comforting. She set the perfect tone for this event, and her spirit opened up beautiful connections and conversations.” Being Present with Art: The Retreat with Roksana Filipowska

“The professor was highly engaging, facilitated excellent discussions, and [was] very knowledgeable. I learned a lot about teaching art history from watching her.” Matisse and Picasso with Martha Lucy

“The instructor [was] very empathetic and knowledgeable [and] created moments of sharing across students who participated actively in discussion.” Art and Literature of the Harlem Renaissance with Michael Williamson