Making modern Japanese-style painting : Kano Hōgai and the by Chelsea Foxwell

By Chelsea Foxwell

The Western discovery of jap work at nineteenth-century world’s gala's and export outlets catapulted eastern artwork to new degrees of overseas recognition. With that attractiveness, besides the fact that, got here feedback, as Western writers started to lament a perceived finish to natural jap paintings and an increase in westernized cultural hybrids. the japanese reaction: nihonga, a conventional variety of portray that reframed current strategies to tell apart them from Western creative conventions. Making smooth Japanese-Style Painting explores the visible features and social services of nihonga and lines its courting to the prior, its audience, and rising notions of the fashionable jap state.

Chelsea Foxwell sheds mild on interlinked traits in eastern nationalist discourse, govt artwork coverage, American and ecu remark on eastern paintings, and the calls for of export. The seminal artist Kano Hogai (1828–88) is one telling instance: initially a painter for the shogun, his paintings finally developed into novel, eerie photographs intended to meet either eastern and Western audiences. instead of easily soaking up Western methods, nihonga as practiced via Hogai and others broke with pre-Meiji portray while it labored to neutralize the rupture.

by way of arguing that basic adjustments to viewers expectancies ended in the emergence of nihonga—a conventional interpretation of jap paintings for a modern, overseas market—Making glossy Japanese-Style Painting offers a clean examine a tremendous element of Japan’s improvement right into a smooth nation.

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The painters’ level of personal commitment to their endeavors can be seen in the fact that Tamechika, who took the Reizei name as an expression of loyalty to the emperor, was eventually assassinated by a pro-­imperial extremist; similarly, Ikkei was imprisoned during the Ansei purge for his loyalist political affiliations. In 1841 Watanabe Kazan, who was also a scholar of Confucian and Dutch studies, would die for his political and intellectual affiliations. Where painters’ products had once been treated as extensions of their patrons’ ideas, by the late Edo period the choices of some painters were treated as manifestations of personal values.

Given nihonga’s close relation to public exhibitions and government patronage, it is not surprising that today the artists most commonly cited as transitional figures were those who negotiated between elite patrons and the crowd. 56 Kyōsai, the son of a samurai from Koga domain, Shimōsa (present-­day Ibaraki prefecture), came to Edo with his father. His virtuosic blend of dynamic figure painting and classical ink painting was the result of having learned first with Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798–­1861) and subsequently with Kano Dōhaku in Edo.

50 and color on silk; two-­panel folding screen. Itabashi Museum of Art. Many of the same trends were at work in Kyoto academic painting. 52 Several participants incorporated elements of Qing courtly painting. A sliding-­door program of layered ink hills and peach blossoms by the Kyoto painter Kano Eigaku (1843–­1890) appears as though lifted from a Chinese painting manual demonstration of the “hemp-­fiber” strokes of the Dong Yuan mode. Hara Zaishō (1813–­1871) decorated the Lower Room (Gedan no ma) of the Imperial Study (Ogakumonjo) with an ink and color painting of the Yueyang Pavilion in the Qing architectural style of the late seventeenth-­and eighteenth-­century Yangzhou artist Yuan Jiang (fig.

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