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Painted shortly after his arrival in France, Woman in Japanese Dress reflects the vogue for Japonisme then sweeping Europe. Coined in 1872 by the French critic and collector Philippe Burty, the term broadly designates enthusiasm for all things Japanese, following the opening of Japan to Western trade with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854. Indeed, the same year this picture was painted an enormous exhibition of Japanese art was held at the Galerie Georges Petit in Paris and the first Salon annuel des peintres japonais was launched at the Palais de l’Industrie. John Lavery’s painting particularly suggests the influence of Japanese woodblock prints known as ukiyo-e ('pictures of the floating world'), which often depicted attractive young women dressed in the latest fashions.


Woman in Japanese Dress




oil on panel


H 27.9 x W 21.3 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Paul Mellon Fund

Work type


Inscription description

inscribed, lower left: TO MISS W-A-GREZ / J LAVERY 83


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