Indelicate Philosophies: The Convergence Of French And Japanese Erotic Arts, Part 2: Figures

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Veda Lane Stocton (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Mira Rai Waits

Abstract: Nineteenth-century French artists’ appropriation of Japanese imagery has often been discussed as orientalist practice. The end of Japanese isolationist foreign policy in 1853 introduced the West to Japanese art and ignited a lust for ‘Japanese aesthetics.’ However, there is a gap in the scholarship. French and Japanese similarities prior to the nineteenth century have not been greatly discussed. My project analyzes the social, philosophical, and creative connections between France and Japan prior to 1853, by focusing on each country’s pornographic prints, which served as forms of social critique. I argue that erotic representations in France and Japan produced in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries laid the foundation for artistic influence in the nineteenth century. Artists from both countries were engaged with representations of the nude, as well as exploring practices understood at the time as sexual deviancy. My research provides a cross-cultural perspective on politically and socially deviant art. The use of pornographic prints is assumed to be “d’une seule main (of one hand)”, but contain as well the acute admonition of those in power through a libertine approach. This analysis is necessary since art was tied to each country’s impending revolutions, suggesting correlations between fleeting pleasure and political upheaval.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Stocton, V. (2018). "Indelicate Philosophies: The Convergence Of French And Japanese Erotic Arts, Part 2: Figures." Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2018
Ukiyo-e, Libertinism, Japanese Woodblock, French Etching, Nude

Email this document to