What do you know about Japanese paintings and art? Japanese art is brimming with creativity and has many special aspects! Are you reading along? Or would you rather dive right into our Asia collection?! Anyway, we have listed 5 facts for you.
1. Religion and belief plays a big part in many Japanese paintings
The ancient Japanese discovered that divinity manifested itself in nature itself. For example, they believed that flowering tops, flowing rivers and venerable trees were sanctified by the gods who lived there, also known as 'Kami'. This Japanese religion is called 'Shinto'; you see it a lot Japanese paintings. The beautiful nature that you can often find in Japanese paintings can be seen as a portrait of the holy world and the Gods who live in it! You can see this in the Kanagawa Wave print and the noji print!
2. A lot Japanese paintings have their origins in Chinese art
You might not expect this, but many of the Japanese paintings are inspired by Chinese art! In the seventh and eighth centuries, Japanese art was dominated by Chinese art, and it was not until the ninth century that Japanese artists began to turn away from this Chinese influence. So it wasn't until much later that Japanese artists started doing their own thing.
3. Later, Japanese artists were actually influenced by the West
You see a change in the opening of the trade routes with America and Europe in the nineteenth century Japanese paintings. Japanese artists were again influenced by Western artists at this time! The Japanese's initial response to Western art forms was frank acceptance, and in 1876 the Technological Art School was opened, with Italian instructors to teach Western methods.
4. Japanese arts are passed on from generation to generation
The making of Japanese paintings and art requires skills from skilled craftsmen and artists. Therefore, traditional arts have been passed down through generations from family members, master or teacher to student. The mantra 'Shi, Ha Ri' is often repeated by traditional artists as an encouragement to cross boundaries in the pursuit of creativity! Can you see this in the Japanese paintings in our Asia collection?
5. The Edo period brought beautiful Japanese schilderijen
During the Edo period (1615-1868) Japan flourished and with it the Japanese paintings and art, especially 'Ukiyo-e' paintings! Ukiyo-e literally means 'the floating world'. In this schilderijen the urban lifestyle, fashion sensibility and beauty in Japan was emphasized.
The women who are in this works of art are often portrayed with elaborate hairstyles, heavy make-up and decorative clothing and were seen as the 'ideal woman'. This comes in a lot Japanese paintings back! In this way the emotion, beauty and character of the portrayed ladies are expressed as well as possible. You can also see this in, for example, the Koto of Snow Walk print!
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