The National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto Opens Meiji Era Exhibition

14.September.2021 | SPOT

A special exhibition titled ‘Japanese Landscapes Discovered: Views from and for the Outside World,’ showcasing a private collection of Meiji era paintings, is now on display at the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto until October 31, 2021.

 

Inside the Exhibit

Inside the Exhibit

 

 

This exhibition is designed to take visitors on a journey through the Meiji period (1868-1912), the beginning of Japan’s modern era, through oil and watercolor paintings of the time, and through the landscapes and customs depicted in these pieces of art. During this time, many foreign painters visited Japan, and were inspired to paint the country’s beautiful landscapes and unfamiliar customs, bringing these creations back to their countries of origin. Japanese artists studied these unfamiliar painting techniques, and made their own culturally-inspired paintings, often selling them to foreign visitors as souvenirs.

 

Many works on display in this exhibition have never been shown publicly, with many being brought back to Japan from locations abroad. These include long-lost oil paintings by Kuroda Seiki and a massive newly-discovered work by Tamura Soryu. Other Japanese artists inspired by Western-style on display include Hiroshi Yoshida, Jirokichi Kasagi, Shotaro Koyama, and Ioki Bunsai.

 

Also on display are works by foreign artists who visited Japan during this period, including British news painter Charles Wirgman, French news painter Georges Bigot, and British landscape painters Alfred Parsons, Alfred East, and John Varley Jr. These three men in particular triggered a watercolor boom in Japan during the late Meiji period. Vibrant female painters such as British watercolorist Ella du Cane, a lover of Japanese gardens, also make an appearance.

 

Be sure to see these incredible depictions of Japan before they’re gone.

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