Japanese prints were used as wrapping paper for protecting objects before they were sent out, like how we would use newspaper/bubble wrap. These prints were easy to manufacture and cheap so the Japanese didn’t think of the artistry behind them.
As these prints made their way to European countries the people thought that the prints were great works of art – this helped people in western counties become to think of Japanese as less primitive.
These prints were inspiration for artists of the time and each tried to recreate this style in their own way; Van Gough and Toulouse Lautrec are artists that were inspired by this style.
Japanese prints used colours like yellows, browns, reds and greens which were quite earthy and flat looking A lot of prints were inspired by nature, mountains and valleys. Japanese women were also printed often as they wore tradition Japanese clothing and headwear.
Japonism is the Japanese influence of aesthetics on western countries like Britain and France.