Back when the Japanese ports opened, the foreign art styles influenced Europe and the Americas tremendously. Also to some extent, Japanese artisans were affected as well. Their art styles in ceramics, paintings and other fields were a refreshing change to those with commercial interests.
The style was of the Middle Ages and was rendered by skilled artists and craftsmen for all manners of decorative arts. The style revealed their highest interests, i.e., free and informal naturalism. Traditions and craftsmanship were unbroken and the end product had a variety of naturalistic force.
Ever since the Japanese art and styles were discovered, many articles reveal this quick asset of art forms. We observe it in sketchy pen and pencil drawings and in stylized flora of all sorts. The latter can be found in borders of pages, fashionable etchings or even on wallpaper.
As for ancient or later substantial constructive renderings, the early Japanese were lacking them almost altogether. They were quite able to place a spray of flora, a bird or fish across a blank panel or sheet of paper, sketching them with expert expression and skill, revealing the decorative design.
The books are quite attractive and the theme of naturalism was dominant in their character. The books of early Japanese artisans are unique in that the text is written vertically, creating panels, with fine art work in and around the text. The pages appear naturalistic compared to Western horizontal pages that often have full pages with little or no illustrations.
The paneled effect appears airy and full of light, an attractive rendition. The decorative effect is never absent and is well controlled. The sometimes contain a border, either solid or scroll work, and reveal a high degree of mastery and decorative skill.
The Japanese books contain crests and design patterns that show a thoughtful understanding of symmetrical and balanced proportions. Craft persons may take inspiration from these past Japanese works.
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