Landscape With Mount Fuji in the Distance by Emil Orlik - 1908 - 120.5 x 154.5 cm private collection Landscape With Mount Fuji in the Distance by Emil Orlik - 1908 - 120.5 x 154.5 cm private collection

Landscape With Mount Fuji in the Distance

Oil on canvas • 120.5 x 154.5 cm
  • Emil Orlik - July 21, 1870 - September 28, 1932 Emil Orlik 1908

Today, we present an artist that we have never featured before. Emil Orlik was a painter, etcher, and lithographer. He was born in Prague, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at that time, and lived and worked in Prague, Austria, and Germany.

Orlik was keenly fascinated by Japanese art and local landscapes, a sentiment widely held among his contemporaries. The spark for this interest ignited when Japanese art and artifacts, particularly woodblock prints, found their way to Europe in the mid-19th century. This cultural exchange was possible as Japan gradually opened its ports to Western trade. His commitment to delving deeper into Japanese culture set Orlik apart from most of his peers. He yearned not only to appreciate the artistic merits of Japanese art but also to master the techniques of Japanese woodblock printing under the guidance of Japanese masters in their homeland. His pioneering spirit led him to become one of the first European artists to embark on a journey to Japan in the early 1900s, joining the ranks of Gauguin and Nolde in his quest to explore uncharted realms and embrace diverse cultures. His ten-month artistic apprenticeship in Japan would profoundly influence his future body of work, cementing his reputation as a "missionary of true East Asian culture."

In this piece, Orlik highlights Japan's remarkable natural beauty, bearing clear traces of his debt to Japanese art. Evident in the work are its flatness, decorative elements, stylization, elevated viewpoint, and formal composition, characterized by vibrant patches of color that eschew the use of shadows.

If you love Japanese art as much as Orlik, please check out our Japanese Art - 50 Postcards Set in the DailyArt Shop.  :)

P.S. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Western world experienced the craze of Japanese culture and art, known as Japonisme. Learn how it affected various elements of European culture! For a story opposite to Emil Orlik, meet Kiyohara Tama, a Japanese painter who moved to Sicily and made a career as Eleonora Ragusa.