Before the Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration of the 15-19th centuries the Europeans didn't know much about the eastern countries, their conception of the East was based on myths and fairy tales. In the second half of 19th century the East gained the status of geographical and cultural reality, which still remained something exotic and peculiar. The attributes of the eastern culture and lifestyle were in great fashion - porcelain and fabrics, screens and fans, clothes and lacquer cabinets, Chinese palaces and gardens - the West World played a fantastic and dramatized scenario named the Eastern World.
The Impressionist artists were remarkably influenced by the artwork of the masters of the ukiyo-e school. The ukiyo-e woodcut prints presented simple everyday subjects from "the floating world" in fascinating decorative ways.