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Moore and his friend Whistler began to take an interest in Japanese prints in the 1860s. These profoundly influenced both artists, who set out to imitate their decorative design and subtle colouring. In addition, Moore’s admiration of ancient Greek sculpture is evident in his fascination with the rippled fabric of classical robes.Blossoms reflects these interests: the pose of the single female figure is like antique statues of Venus, while the delicate colouring and decorative background of flowers is an exercise in ‘Japonisme’. It is also a celebration of female beauty and of ‘art for art’s sake’.

July 2007