Bracquemond was a prominent figure in artistic and literary circles in the second half of the 19th century. He was close to writers such as Edmond de Goncourt and critic Gustave Geffroy, and numbered among his friends Millet and Corot, Henri Fantin-Latour, Degas and the Impressionist circle, and Auguste Rodin. He was one of the more prolific printmakers of his time and he was awarded the grande medaille d'honneur at the Universal Exhibition of 1900. He was also a painter, ceramist, and an innovator in decorative arts. Gabriel Weisberg called him the "molder of artistic taste in his time". Indeed it was he who recognised the beauty of the Hokusai woodcuts used as packing around a shipment of Japanese china, a discovery which helped change the look of late 19th-century art.