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Painting Edo

Post #1858 • February 14, 2020, 4:03 PM • 2 Comments

[Image: Takada Keiho, Mount Fuji, Miho Pine Forest, and Seikenji Temple, 1746, courtesy of the Harvard Art Museums]

Takada Keiho, Mount Fuji, Miho Pine Forest, and Seikenji Temple, 1746, courtesy of the Harvard Art Museums

My latest for the Arts Fuse is a review of the exquisite "Painting Edo" exhibition at the Harvard Art Museums. Behold.

Comment

1.

Doug Bowker

February 14, 2020, 7:30 PM

Thanks for such a thorough overview. I will be going for certain as I have had along affinity with the art that came out of Japan during this period.

It occurs to me that the questions you ask towards the end might send you off in the direction of other, similar "closed societies of pure-mindedness." I'm thinking for example of as medieval monasteries (or monasteries in any time period). The intricate and sublime detail found in some of the illuminated manuscripts, not to mention some of the amazing frescoes of Fra Angelico share a certain spare yet transcendent sensibility. Then again, like the Japanese rulers of the time, crossing over the line even a little in any of these societies didn't end well.

2.

Franklin

February 15, 2020, 11:37 AM

In fact they were pretty tolerant of individual eccentricity. A section in the catalogue is devoted to the topic, in regards to the Taiga screens mentioned in the review. But advocating for large-scale societal reforms could result in slaughters. Note that the Edo was regarded as being a peaceful era. It was sufficiently violent to raise the question of what the un-peaceful eras were like.

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