Books: For Art's Sake

THE AESTHETIC ADVENTURE—William Gaunt—Harcourt, Brace ($3).

When Commodore Perry sailed into the harbor of Yokohama in 1854, he had no idea that he was contributing to a new esthetic movement in Europe. The pottery and ornaments which the Japanese began to export after Perry's visit were often wrapped in the Japanese equivalent of old newspapers—sheets of popular prints engraved by native artists. Within a few years, Parisian poets and painters were ransacking Japanese packing cases as though the crumpled prints inside were an accidental answer to an occidental prayer. For the prints were...

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