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  • 執筆者の写真Michi

Ukiyo-e Viewed through Japonisme (ジャポニズム 世界を魅了した浮世絵) I


The special exhibition displays how ukiyo-e influenced Japonisme overseas and the woodblock/woodcut/Etching/Lithograph prints depicted by the overseas artists who were fascinated with ukiyo-e, which is now on view at Chiba City Museum of Art.

223 pieces are displayed in which the books compiled by art researchers in Europe are included.

Among the books I found a book compiled in 1910 (明治43) by Julius Kruth, in which he introduced Sharaku. It's not too much to say that Sharaku wouldn't have been appreciated overseas and here in japan, if he hadn't published it.

KATSUSHIKA Hokusai (1760~1849), "The Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa," from the series Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji (Fugaku sanjurokkei), woodblock print in 1834-1836.

"The Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa" has been one of the most famous works of Japanese art in the world since the latter half of 19th century. You'll be impressed with the spray of the dramatically cresting swell and the rowers on the boats helplessly tossed by the great waves, while dwarfed Mt. Fuji stands beneath the waves.

This print could be considered the most influential work of the Japonisme movement. Vincent Van Gogh wrote many letters to his brother and in one of them he wrote of the strong impression he got after seeing this print.

You'll see works of artists overseas who were strongly influenced by the great waves, as well as woodblock prints depicting sea by Hokusai.

KEISAI Eisen, "Courtesan Wearing Garment with Clouds and Dragon Design", woodblock print in 1824-37.

This work was featured on the cover of the 1886 special edition of Paris Illustrè (パリ・イリュストレ)on Japan. In 1887 Vincent Van Gogh drew this print on the background of his oil painting entitled "portrait of Père Tanguy" (タンギー爺さん).

*Books on Japanese art compiled by Louis Gonse (1846~1921), are also displayed. He was one of the first European experts in Japanese art.

UTAGAWA Hiroshige(1797~1858), "Bamboo Yards, Kyobashi Bridge" from the series One Hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei)

Hiroshige depicted Kyobashi bridge which appeared prominently(目立って) in the foreground and some men on the bridge carrying lucky staffs with straw decorations, who seemed to be on the way back from the pilgrimage to Mt. Oyama.

The works of Hiroshige are highly appreciated in Europe and the United States of America for their dynamic composition and the beauty of blue color, particularly indigo blue.

Falileev, Vadim Dmitrievich (1879~1950), "The Tall Bridge" Color Linocut print on paper in 1927

Falileev drew the lives of ordinary people in Russia in oil paintings and watercolor paintings. This work is his rare linocut print on paper housed in The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts.

UTAGAWA Hiroshige (1797~1858), "Sudden Shower over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake,"

from the series One Hundred Views of famous Places in Edo (Meisho Edo Hyakkei), printed in 1857

Hiroshige used a birds-eye view to depict the scene of the walkers confronting the sudden shower.

The left woodblock print in 1857: UTAGAWA Hiroshige, "Eagle over the Hundred Tsubo Plain beyond Susaki in Fukagawa", from the series One Hundred View of Famous Places in Edo

Rivière Henri (1864~1951) "From the Austerlitz elevated bridge ", Housed in Gimmerli Museum at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA

Western artists were attracted by the bird's eye view format .

These two images are from 'C'n scene news VOL.101'.

KATSUSHIKA Hokusai (1760~1849), "Fine Wind, Clear Weather, (凱風快晴)" from the series Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji (Fugaku sanjurokkei), woodblock print in 1831-33

Hokusai captured the moment when the rising sun turned Mt. Fuji red in early autumn.

Mt. Fuji's solidly symmetrical shape on the right half of the image is balanced by the delicate clouds to the left. Hokusai has been admired this striking composition.


This exhibition is on view from Jan. 12 to Mar. 6

Open: 10:00~18:00 (~20:00 on Fridays & Saturdays)

Admission: 1500yen for adults, 800yen for college students, Free for elementary school children and high school students (half the admission fee for the admission after 18:00)

More about Chiba City Museum of Art: please access





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