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Artistic Anatomy: The Study of Human Form

Artistic Anatomy: The Study of Human Form / Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room T1   July 3, 2012 (Tue) - July 29, 2012 (Sun)

Male Nude(detail), By Kuroda Seiki, 1889

What does it mean to depict the human body? Study that explores the human form and its meaning is called artistic anatomy. Examples include studying the connection between the skin's surface and the underlying body structures, as well as the movements and proportions of the human body.

Artistic anatomy in Japan, which was achieved together with Western-style painting and sculpture in the Meiji era (1868-1912), was founded on lectures given at the Tokyo Fine Arts School (present-day Tokyo University of the Arts) by Mori Rintaro (Ogai), who was invited to teach by the scholar Okakura Tenshin. After Mori Ogai, who studied in Germany, artistic anatomy at the Tokyo Fine Arts School was taught by Kume Keiichiro, a Western-style painter who studied in France.

This exhibition introduces publications on artistic anatomy that were produced in Germany and France. The latest anatomical knowledge available at the time in Japan was through Geiyo kaibo gaku kotsuron no bu (Artistic Anatomy: Skeletal System), written by Kume and Ogai. In addition, the Western-style painter Kuroda Seiki studied with Kume and attended lectures in artistic anatomy in France. His notebooks Notebook for Artistic Anatomy Study and Sketchbook 4 (Art anatomy lectures) remain from this time.

We can see how Kume and Kuroda observed and depicted the human body through their sketches of the same models in the same poses, and their oil painting studies of nude men and women. This exhibition displays the study of body structures under the skin as well as the results of attempts to capture the beauty of the human body's form.

Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
Plastic anatomy of the human body Guidebook for artists and art amateurs, By Julius Kollmann, Published 1886 (first edition) (Private collection)
Artistic Anatomy Description of the external form of the humain body at rest and during movementu corps humain au repos et dans les principaux mouvements, By Paul Pierre Richer, 1890 (Private collection)
Artistic Anatomy: Osteology (Draft), Anonymous (Mori Rintaro and Kume Keiichiro), 1898 - 1900
Notebook for Artistic Anatomy Study in France, By Kuroda Seiki, Meiji era, 19th century
Female Nude, By Kuroda Seiki, 1889
Male Nude, By Kuroda Seiki, 1889
Study of Standing Female Nude, By Kume Keiichiro, 1889 (Lent by Kume Museum of Art, Tokyo)

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Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 20  July 3, 2012 (Tue)   14:00 - 14:30   RESERVE_DAY