Sunday, 2 October 2011

Sketches and Paintings from the Edo period

Yesterday I met up with my gallery group and we went to a lovely little gallery out in Itabashi. It's an area I'd never been to before and it was great to go somewhere new. The Itabashi Art museum is situated in a serene park. The crickets were still chirping and locals were enjoying the balmy afternoon.

The exhibition showcased about 40 works created towards the end of the Edo era when Japan was experiencing a huge shift in its visual culture. This was due to influences and techniques from Europe and China. The interesting thing was that the Japanese either didn't understand the way Westerners were depicting subject matter, or chose to keep some of their traditional techniques, so that the pieces ended up being unique works, rather than imitations of Western art.

The exhibition had a really lovely selection, some of scenics, which were beautifully intricate and involved, as well as more scientific/biological pieces. The latter ones were my favourite, with beautiful renderings of fish, flowers and animals. This turtle was particularly impressive and I can see why they chose to use him for the ticket! He was painted onto a traditional scroll and measured about 7 feet high!

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