Aspects of Islamic Art influences can be found in French Art throughout the nineteenth century. The second half of the century saw the opening of trade with Japan, which greatly affected French painters, especially the Impressionists. Therefore, I have divided French Art History into four periods: Islamic influences in the first half of the century and Japanese influences in the second.

The nineteenth century saw a unique conjunction of political events and artistic concerns, which brought a rapid expansion of the West's contact with the East. French painting was influenced by Islamic and Japanese subject matter and technique. Artists gradually eliminated the idealistic, or classical beauty and were turning to realist images. They also brought a distinctly unclassical exoticism of color, style, and painterly texture to the treatment of Eastern subject matter.


Click the links below to find examples of these influences.

General Bonaparte in Cairo. 1863. Gerome

Potrait of Emile Zola. 1868. Manet