In 1853, after two centuries of isolation, Japan reopened its doors and restored diplomatic and trade relations with the rest of the world.
For European artists, this was like Pandora's box opening up - something that had been sealed shut and inaccessible until that moment in time. However, instead of bringing disaster, a priceless artistic and cultural heritage was revealed, to be admired, studied and imitated and, above all, to be used as inspiration.
Perceived as mysterious and different, people immediately fell in love with Japan, creating a real trend that was able to influence all aspects of western art and culture, becoming known as "Japanism". Four stages like the four great Universal Exhibitions that allowed the western world to communicate with Japan, starting from the London World's Fair in 1862, where it all began and where it was possible to admire a large quantity of products from the Land of the Rising Sun for the very first time.
A triumph of porcelain, clothing, lacquers, Ukiyo-e prints and fans that, a few years later, went on to conquer Paris (the art capital of the world at the time), before spreading throughout Europe. A triumph that influenced every sphere of artistic expression throughout Europe, and hasn’t stopped since: still today, almost two centuries after that treasure chest was opened, the Land of the Rising Sun continues to provide western culture with precious gems from which to take inspiration.