“What is true of the pine tree, for and by itself, is no less true in the relation of the tree to its environment. The Japanese artist studies pine-tree nature not only in its import and bearing but lovingly understands it in its habitat and natural element as well—which, if the geometry be called the grammar, may be equal privilege of figurative speech be termed the syntax. To acquire this knowledge, he devotes himself to the tree, observes analytically yet sympathetically, then leaves it, and with his brush begins to feel for its attitude and intimate relations as he remembers them. He proceeds from visualized generals to definite particulars in the contemplative study, and as soon as he has recognized really the first elements constituting the skeleton of the structure, which you may see laid bare in the analysis by Hokusai, his progress in its grammar and syntax is rapid. The Japanese artist, by virtue of the shades of his ancestors, is born a trained observer; but only after a long series of patient studies does he consider that he knows his subject. However, he has naturally the ready ability to seize upon essentials, which is the prime condition of the artist’s creative insight.”
— Frank Lloyd Wright
Ukiyo-e: Images of an evanescent, impermanent world of fleeting beauty.
The nourishment of classicism and romanticism was growing weak. Photography had taught new lessons in design: lithography had revitalized the print: and men like Eugène Delacroix, J.M.W. Turner, and John Constable had seen the value of brilliant, pure color applied to the canvas.
— James A. Michener