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Painting and Calligraphy | 16th–19th century

"Painting and Calligraphy | 16th–19th century"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 8  August 24, 2021 (Tue) - October 3, 2021 (Sun)

Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons, Vol. 2 (detail), By Sakai Hōitsu, Edo period, 1818

A thriving economy, foreign trade, and better education invigorated painting and calligraphy. Previously, ruling classes like the samurai and court nobility were the main patrons of art. But in the Edo period (1603–1868), more people started to benefit from the economy. Successful merchants in particular gained the wealth to support artists and buy their works.

Many painters continued working in traditional styles, while others started looking to outside sources for inspiration. Paintings and painting manuals imported from China were one source. Another was the books and prints that traders brought from Europe, which showed techniques like realistic shading and perspective. As a result, painting in Japan became more diverse in style and subject matter.

Meanwhile, the ancient custom of writing with a brush and ink continued. The literacy rate increased dramatically as schools for different social classes were established, particularly in cities and towns. The publishing industry thrived and more people took up the art of calligraphy.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 5 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
Scenes from "A Tale of Flowering Fortunes" By Tosa Mitsusuke (1675–1710) Edo period, 17th-18th century A-12182
_MD_RECOMMEND Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons, Vol. 2 By Sakai Hōitsu (1761–1828) Edo period, 1818 (Bunka 15) A-85-2
_MD_RECOMMEND Song of Everlasting Sorrow By Shōkadō Shōjō (1584–1639) Edo period, 17th century B-2812
_MD_RECOMMEND Letters By Sakai Hōitsu (1761–1828) Edo period, 18th-19th century B-2519
Waterfall with an Inscription By Sengai Gibon (1750–1837) Edo period, 1827 (Bunsei 10) Gift of Ms. Kuze Tamie, B-3411
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