Cherry Blossoms (detail), By Hirose Kain, Edo period, 19th century
Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 8
February 21, 2023 (Tue) - April 9, 2023 (Sun)
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.
|Highlight||Cherry Blossoms||By Hirose Kain (dates unknown)||Edo period, 19th century||A-10178|
|Peach Blossom Spring||By Fukuda Hankō (1804–64)||Edo period, 1855||A-12448|
|Copybook (Teachings of Imagawa Ryōshun)||By Prince Hachijō-no-Miya Toshihito (1579-1629)||Azuchi-Momoyama period, 1598||B-2865-5|
|Highlight||Important Art Object||"Waka" Poem: "The First Warbler of Spring"||1 hanging scroll||By Emperor Reigen (1654–1732)||Edo period, 17th century||Private collection|
|Highlight||Calligraphy in One Line: "A Single Flower Blooms and the World Is in Spring"||By Ike no Taiga (1723–76)||Edo period, 18th century||Gift of Ms. Kuze Tamie, B-3405|