" Brightly coloured Japanese prints began to arrive in European ports in the 1850s - Monet bought his first at Le Havre in 1856, and by the 1860s La Porte chinoise and L'Empire chinoise in Paris were two of the leading shops selling oriental wares of all kinds. Both were frequented by Baudelaire, the Goncourts, Zola, Bracquemond, Tossot, Whistles and Manet. At this point it was contemporary prints that were available prints that were available: works by such as Utamaro, Hiroshige and Hokusai were not generally imported until the mid-1870s.
Japanese influence existed on two levels. On the more superficial plane it provided a background to life and props for paintings. Whistler collected blue and white china and painted his mistress in a kimono; there is a Japanese painting in Degas' portrait of Tissot, and two Japanese prints are featured in Manet's portrait of Zola."
The Thames and Hudson Encycopaedia of Impressionism by Bernard Denvir ,
|Utamaro (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)|
|Hiroshige, ukiyo-e print of the bridge in Shimomeguro, Meguro|
|Hokusai (British Museum)|