Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Mount Fuji - pays de neige, Musee Guimet

If you live in the Northeast in the USA you woke up to 12-20 inches of snow this morning. Paris was a balmy 54 degrees. Coats and windows were open. 
good time to show you an exhibit at Musee Guimet - Mont Fuji - land of snow

Japanese woodblock prints of the Edo period (1603 - 1868). They capture the infinite silence of snow gently falling. 

Here’s a very ‘Japanese’ snow scene from New York photographer, Noam Galai, taken yesterday of a Sabret hot dog stand.

Around 1830, 70-year-old Hokusai became obsessed with snow-covered Mount Fuji, as a symbol of monumentality. 

The titles of his prints are like haiku poems; 

‘Fine winds, Clear morning’ 

‘Rainstorm beneath the summit’ 

‘New paddies at Ono’

The introduction of Prussian blue pigment , a deep greeny-blue stain brought in by  Commadore Perry when he ‘opened’ Japan,
                  Added depth and  contrast to Edo prints. 
Check out Lise Martinot’s Youtube lecture(in French) on their influence.
In Musee Guimet’s terrific gift shop I bought an accordion book of bird prints now gracing my wall, most with Prussian blue backgrounds. By the way they have Hokusai ‘Great Wave’ socks and face masks. 
Claude Monet, like Impressionists Manet and Van Gogh, obsessively collected 250 Japanese prints for inspiration. They graced the walls of his famous yellow dining room at Giverny. 
Yesterday morning, the sky out my window was pale Prussian blue. Keep warm PBers🐻🎨❤️


  1. Wonderful post--very inspiring

  2. Interesting and informative. When it is blue, the sky in France is so beautiful. No wonder so many artists took advantage of it.🎨

  3. That must have been a fabulous exhibit at Musée Guimet. How amusing that they held it in August when snow is a wonderfully refreshing concept. With all of our snow the northeast US could use an exhibit of tropical islands...or deserts, perhaps? Glad to hear you are experiencing balmy weather in Paris and lovely blue skies.

  4. Ga it was the luminous, reflective grey skies all the artists loved in fact - ‘Parisian grisaille’

  5. Sybille11:51 AM

    So wonderful, Carol! Great assortment in your new six pack of letters.

  6. I have never gotten too excited about Asian art but love the snow falling with the reddish building in the background.. Seems very peaceful.

  7. Hokusai is one of my all time favorites -- I would have been so wild about this exhibit and the shop, too. Could be trouble. Oh, I remember walking into the dining room at Giverny and stopping dead in my tracks with those wonderful woodblocks. I would just love to move into his dining room and kitchen. I could live there forever.

  8. You continue to amaze me as you pull all of this great information together!!!

  9. Jeanie -I like how you think! You think Big!
    It never would have occurred to me... :))

  10. The bird print accordion book is so beautiful-I’ve never seen anything like that. That’s wonderful that you can look at it everyday.

  11. thanks MR
    The book was one of 3 series by Flammarion
    The others were landscapes and Japanese ladies

  12. This is a beautiful. Prussian blue is my favorite. I am always drawn to it when I’m looking at yarn! I have never been drawn to Japanese prints until I saw the ones at Monet’s house.

  13. I really enjoyed your post today about Prussian Blue; so interesting and informative. I really hadn't realized how vibrant as I seldom used it. Thank you.

  14. So lovely! Thanks for this great PB edition.

    Your shot of the Paris rooftops is a great painting subject.

  15. Chef Anne12:09 AM

    So beautiful Carol!

    Merci beaucoup,

  16. Thank you so much for all this info. I looked it up and indeed saw to my surprise the grey skies that were so influential.

  17. Snow is beautiful to look at, especially in prints. Not so great when you have to scoop it!

  18. thanks for the Lise Martinot video.

    She is wonderful!

  19. This is brilliant....our sister in law at Clark Art Museum in Williamstown, MA is a specialist in "the Japanese influence
    on French impressionists" and had a rare collection of Japanese prints she has gifted to the museum. I will send
    her this PB; she'll love it.

  20. NormaJean3:25 AM

    What a beautiful photograph of your window view..... so unique!! Love it!

  21. Not so unique NormaJean...
    If you live in a top floor Paris chambre de bonne...Paris rooftops is your view.


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