He was one of a number of painters encouraged to go there by leading London art dealers like Charles Dowdeswell, Marcus Huish and Alex Reid who recognised a growing appetite in Britain for Japanese imagery.
A selection of Menpes’ works, including The Yellow Parasol, feature in a new exhibition on artist-travellers at London gallery Patrick Bourne & Co in St James’s Place from September 17-24.
The show examines how artist-travellers flourished alongside the burgeoning tourism and travel industry from the 1850s to the 1950s and includes works by Sir Alfred East, George Henry and Edward Hornel (all of whom visited Japan), as well as pictures by Edward Lear, John Lavery, Arthur Melville and Frank Brangwyn.
The exhibition coincides with the publication of Kenneth McConkey’s new book Towards the Sun: The Artist-Traveller at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. The book launch takes place at the gallery during an all-day exhibition preview on September 16 and is available to buy for £65.