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Girl in a Japanese Costume

Asian textiles and Japanese kimonos were highly popular as decorations and costumes in late nineteenth-century European and American interiors. William Merritt Chase, whose famous New York studio was filled with a vast array of art objects including textiles, ceramics, wood carvings, and metalwork from all over the world, joined in the growing vogue for Japanese costume subjects with a number of paintings of female models robed in beautifully patterned kimonos. The popularity of such images was part of a broader taste for Japanese design known as Japanism, which arose as Japanese objects became more readily accessible to Western collectors.

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