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The Meiji Period (1868-1912) is the 45-year division of Japanese history that directly followed the Edo Period. The Meiji Period was a time of profound transformation, during which Japan went from being virtually sealed off from outside influence to emerging as a dominant global economic power.
It was during the Meiji Period that Japanese and European art began to influence each other. European painters such as Van Gogh and Manet collected <em>ukiyo-e</em> prints and cultivated an obsession with Eastern art that came to be known as Japonisme, informing a generation of Art Noveau designers with pictorial techniques borrowed from Japan. Meanwhile, a newfound interest in Westernization and the ability to import a wider range of pigments transformed the character and quality of the Japanese prints produced during this time.