Joseph Nathan Cohen

Department of Sociology, CUNY Queens College, New York, NY


Generating images in the style of Japonism art.

This post is an installment in the Generative AI Art Style series, a practical knowledge project designed to help content creators fine-tune the aesthetics of their generated images by references to and descriptions of popular art styles.  Click here to read more on the project.

This page depicts the results of mentioning Japonism art in your prompt. Click here to learn about this project

Click here for this visual art style’s Wikipedia page

Generated Thick Descriptor (via Chat-GPT 4): Japonism art is recognized by elements inspired by Japanese woodblock prints (ukiyo-e), featuring bold colors, dramatic foreshortening, and asymmetrical compositions. Other aesthetic features include abstract color usage and flattened planes. Decorative arts such as ceramics, enamels, metalwork, and lacquerware also influence this style, as well as patterns from landscapes, architecture, and clothing. To produce Japonism-style art, utilize off-centered, diagonal designs with expansive negative space. Micro details are important, so consider patterns found in nature or traditional Japanese motifs. Use a vibrant color palette and consider lacquer-like finishes for a quintessentially Japanese aesthetic.

The table below depicts New York City’s Times Square and Northern Ontario’s Lake Kenogamissi. The left column shows the results of a “thin” prompt, in which the style was requested in name only. The right column shows the results of a “thick” prompt, in which the generated prompt was used.

Times Square

These images show what Generative AI renders when one requests that an image be rendered in well-known art styles. This series does not purport to describe major art styles as understood in the art scholarship community. If you have expertise in art and want to explain why these images do or do not capture the essence of these fields, then please do so in the comments section below.