DC樱花和日本画展 - Japanese Masters of the Edo Era 3/22/2008 01:29
如果你去DC看樱花, 可以顺路去看看这个画展.
从下面这篇文章的开头, 似乎江户时期的水墨画受到武道士的美学影响. 虽然能看到有关系, 不明白是否确实如此.

At Sackler Museum through April 13th.

by Rosetsu


The Lords Of the Brush
Japanese Masters' Graceful Works Mirror Ideals of the Edo Era

By Paul Richard
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, November 15, 2007; Page C01

For the beauty-loving samurai of 18th-century Japan, those competitive aestheticians, true mastery of ink and edge were arts of the same height.

Slicing through a torso with a curving steel blade and putting ink to silk with a liquid-loaded brush, both of these were stroke arts. Both required the same swiftness, the same lack of indecision. For the master of the brush and the master of the blade, who were sometimes the same person, the flawless stroke expressed a Japanese ideal -- the beauty-governed union of sure, unhurried speed and centuries-old tradition, utter self-assurance and Zen purity of mind.

You see what they were getting at in "Patterned Feathers, Piercing Eyes: Edo Masters From the Price Collection," which has just come to the Sackler Gallery. It springs out of the paintings, these folding screens and hanging scrolls, these records of the moving brush, its puddlings, its swoops, its extraordinary markings, rigorous yet free.

This show of Edo pictures was last year the most successful museum exhibition touring the planet. In Japan, nearly 900,000 people paid to see it. In terms of mass attendance, no Western show came close.

One reason it succeeded so well is that it came as a surprise. Edo-era art had long been undervalued. Even among scholars, even in Japan, eccentric Edo pictures (many painted at a time when Thomas Jefferson was in knee britches) used to be regarded as too new and too peculiar, not traditional enough. For many Japanese, the Price collection's pictures seemed to come out of the blue, or at least out of the sticks. For 30 years they'd languished, generally ignored, way out in the prairies, in the middle of an oil patch in Bartlesville, Okla.

Whereby hangs a story, a good American story.

Here's how it begins:

So, Joe Price and Frank Lloyd Wright are walking down the street . . .

The street is Madison Avenue. The year is 1953. Almost everyone knows Wright, the great American architect, but almost no one knows Price. Wright is in his 80s and coming to the end of his fiercely individualistic, uncompromising journey, but Price is in his 20s still, and his is just beginning. They're friends.

They're friends because young Price had gotten the architect a job.

The job had come because Harold Price Sr., the oil pipeline baron, was planning a building and looking for an architect, and his importuning son kept "pestering" his father to "at least consider Mr. Wright."

"To keep me quiet," Price wrote, "my father finally consented. He wanted a one- or two-story building spread out on the prairie. Mr. Wright suggested a 14-story tower. They compromised on 19."

The Price Tower in Bartlesville, a thing of copper cladding and cantilevered floors, was completed in 1956. The process wasn't easy. The architect and the oilman were frequently at loggerheads. Young Price was their go-between. "They'd roar at me," he remembers, "but once they were in the same room, both tigers became pussycats."

Price, incidentally, knows quite a lot about tigers. His show is full of them. Those symbols of the warrior's way glare out of his paintings, but despite their fangs and growls, they also tend to look a little bit like pussycats. Living tigers were unknown to Edo painters. None had reached the islands. The Japanese had seen only their skins.

Anyway, young Price and old Wright have just explored the site of the Guggenheim Museum, and now they're on a stroll. They stop in an art gallery. Wright looks, as he often does, at Japanese woodblock prints. His companion is attracted by something else entirely. Displayed on the wall is a monochrome hanging scroll.

"Grapevines" is an early work by Ito Jakuchu (1716-1800). Price has never heard of him. But he notes that the picture's leaves have been painted without outlines, only with wet washes, in the so-called "boneless" manner, and that none of the tall painting's tightly twisting tendrils and interwoven vines have been allowed to cross. So he buys it.

"Grapevines" was Price's first Jakuchu. In time, that Edo artist would become his favorite painter, and he'd acquire many more. Some 20 of his Jakuchus -- powerful and curious images of tigers, elephants, cranes, plum blossoms, eagles and waving reeds in snow -- have been selected for the show.

For a while his art was called the Shin'enKan Collection after Jakuchu's studio ("The House of the Tranquil Heart"), though later he'd rename it the Etsuko and Joe Price Collection, in honor of his wife.

In Japan, Joe Price is known as "the American who rediscovered Jakuchu." Strangers bow to him in the street.

From the start, the man was hooked. During the next half-century, the Prices would acquire about 900 more Edo paintings.

One hundred and nine of them will be displayed at the Sackler, but not all at once. To protect them from the light, and to give them space to breathe, the paintings will be rotated during the exhibit's five-month run.

* * *

"Patterned Feathers, Piercing Eyes" opens with midwinter. The light, already dim, is slowly growing dimmer. Two six-panel folding screens, both scenes of snowy night, shine on the broad wall.

In the painting on the left, a pair of magpies cackle round a plum tree. A rabbit climbs a pine in the picture on the right. Katsu Jagyoku (1735-1780) painted these dreamy images in 1774. Countless floating snowflakes fill his painted air.

These screens, says Price, recall an old duality. Crows suggest the sun in Japanese tradition, while rabbits evoke the moon.

"Where you see the man in the moon," he says, "the Japanese see a rabbit. My wife has been trying to show it to me for the past 40 years."

Rabbits don't climb up pine trees. But the moon does. Very slowly the room darkens. This is not an optical illusion. The lighting has been programmed. The darker it gets, the more the rabbit's whiteness glows. Stable, bright museum light does no favors to such pictures, which were painted to be seen, says Price, by candlelight or charcoal light or sunshine cooled and softened by translucent paper walls.

Price is 77, and enthusiastic. His eyes sparkle. His hair is shoulder-length and gray.

"Edo" is a fluid term. The word signifies a place -- the city now called Tokyo -- and a new ebullient style and 2 1/2 centuries, the period that began in 1615 when Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) became, beneath the emperor, the absolute ruler of Japan.

Much changed during the shogunate. A sort of peace prevailed. The samurai, required now to leave their country castles and attend their lord in Edo, became increasingly exquisite. The merchant classes prospered, and became exquisite, too. The decorative arts -- embroidery, ceramics, woodworking and lacquer work, cookery and perfumery -- flourished with prosperity, as did gift-giving and dressing up and generally showing off. One Edo cookbook illustrates 55 different ways to cut and display carp.

Hierarchical Japan respects its noble past. Old traditions were not broken in the Edo era -- in Japan that wasn't done -- but they were stretched.

Glowering on the wall is the ferocious monk Daruma, the legendary founder of the discipline of Zen. His eyes bulge. His brow is furrowed, his chest hairy. He's furious. Similarly intense are the coarse, impatient brush strokes of his gold-embroidered robe. Daruma dares the viewer to conquer self-deception. But it's hard to take him seriously. Paintings of this sort were once religious objects. This one is a party piece. According to the wooden box in which this scroll is stored, it was painted at a banquet by Kawanabe Kyosai, a slightly comic painter invited to the dinner to entertain the guests.

Samurai aren't funny, nor are geisha, nor are fish. But Joe Price often smiles as he proceeds through his show and explains its painted jokes. In an early Edo hanging scroll by Watanabe Shiko (1683-1755), a carp swims up a waterfall, something those bottom-dwelling, sluggish fish are not known to do. "It is said," says Price, "that a carp who ascends a waterfall becomes a dragon." The picture's true subject isn't wildlife, it's social climbing. The striving fish is gasping; he has a long, long way to go.

Nearby, a focused monkey -- by Mori Sosen (1747-1821) -- attempts to catch a wasp. This image, explains Price, spins a complex pun: The words for "wasp" and "fiefdom" (hachi and hochi) rhyme, as do the ideograms for "monkey" and "lord." Should your lord grant you a fiefdom, look out, you might be stung.

That not everyone will get the joke doesn't really matter. What makes the work a marvel is the monkey's painted fur. Sosen painted monkeys so often, and so wondrously, that his contemporaries thought he must be a reincarnation of a Japanese macaque.

Such shifts of focus happen often. You stop thinking about subjects, about waterfalls or wasps, and find yourself astounded time and time again by the markings of a brush -- by the elegant striations of Suzuki Kiitsu's clamshells, or the pooling grays and copper greens of those poppy stems in grass.

Price doesn't know who painted them. No one does. He bought the painting anyway. It brought pleasure to his eye.

"It is good to see it here. When I first began collecting, I'd find my way to Washington, to the Freer Gallery, where they'd take me to the basement and into the storage rooms and show me Edo painting. I remember my wonderment," he says.
根据唯基对伊藤若冲的介绍, 他的画受到中国画和西画的影响.

by Jakuchu

Itō Jakuchū
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Itō Jakuchū (伊藤若冲)(1716-1800) was an Eccentric Japanese painter of the mid-Edo period. Though many of his paintings concern traditionally Japanese subjects, particularly chickens and other birds, his painting style and methods were heavily influenced by Western painting. Many of his otherwise traditional works display a great degree of experimentation with perspective, and with other very modern stylistic elements.

Though compared to Soga Shohaku and other exemplars of the mid-Edo period eccentric painters, Jakuchū is said to have been very calm, restrained, and professional. He held strong ties to Zen Buddhist ideals, and was considered a lay brother (koji); but he was also keenly aware of his role within a Kyoto society that was becoming increasingly commercial.


Grave of Itō Jakuchū, KyotoItō Jakuchū was the eldest son of Itō Genzaemon, a Kyoto grocer whose shop, called Masuya, lay in the center of downtown, in the Nishiki food district. Jakuchū ran the shop from the time of his father's death in 1739 until 1755, when he turned it over to one of his brothers.

His training in paintings was mostly derived from inspirations from nature and from examining Chinese paintings at Zen temples. Some sources indicate that he may have studied with Ōoka Shunboku, an Osaka-based artist known for his bird and flower paintings. Though a number of his paintings depict exotic or fantastic creatures, such as tigers and phoenixes, it is evident from the detail and lifelike appearance of his paintings of chickens and other animals that he based his work on actual observation.

Chrysanthemums by a stream, with rocks. Part of the series Dōshoku sai-e.Jakuchū built a two-story studio on the west bank of the Kamo River in his late thirties. He called it Shin'en-kan (心
wildcrane at 3/22/2008 01:32 快速引用

by Kiitsu

For those who won't find the chance to go to DC, I found the following great link, where you will be able to view 50 works of different artists.

对于没有机会去看画展的人, 我找到一个很好的网站, 其中你可以看到50幅不同画家的作品,和画家介绍等. 还有关于江户历史的介绍.

wildcrane at 3/22/2008 01:45 快速引用

by Hoitsu

A History of Edo Period Painting
Joe D Price

IN EARLY TIMES THE EYES OF JAPAN SEEMED always to be directed beyond its oceans. Its educated and ruling classes forced the Japanese to submerge their own inherent tendencies to that of their huge neighbors. Indeed they emulated China's customs and art to such an extent, that even today, many think Japanese art merely a copy of the Chinese. But this is not so. The Japanese are not a people to be content forever with someone else's culture. And those rulers of Japan who had imported the Chinese way of life slowly began to lose their power. The Imperial court and their sophisticated advisors were being replaced by the fighting soldier, the Samurai.

The Samurai lacked the education of the previous ruling familys and the historic learnings of the church, both steeped in the knowledge of China. He was a mounted knight, versed in the military arts of the sword and the horse, and as his power grew, so grew his influence on the arts.

The great leaders of the warrior clans rejected the symbolistic art of ancient Buddhism and the severe canons of Zen aesthetics, for these were too somber for their crude tastes. They decorated the interiors of their gloomy castles with glittering gold. Gold to reflect the bit of light that filtered through the heavy shutters. Gold to reflect the shimmer of the candle.

They built their capitol where Tokyo now stands and called it Edo; and believing society could be kept from changing, closed the ports of Japan to the outside world. In this seclusion Japan was able to recover from its devastating civil wars and began a 250 year period of unprecedented peace and interior prosperity known as the Edo Period.

The Merchants
Joe D Price

WITHIN THE COCOON-LIKE ISOLATION OF this tiny island society, the artist, freed from the dictates of outside influence, reached back to a time prior to these restrictions and resumed that art totally peculiar to himself.

He copied little from the outside world, for it barely existed for him. What he developed was an art form unique in both content and style. An art form purely and solely Japanese.

This was a time when inventive artisans began emerging from other than official schools, being trained instead in the shops of fan makers, weavers, dyers, and other trades being supported by the most unlikely class of all, the merchants. Merchants. The lowest of low in Japanese society. Base. Cultureless. Driven solely by the misdeed of profit, they produced no useful product. Surely, one so low as to be forbidden the use of a last name was well beneath the proud warriors' notice. The predictable outcome? While the Samurai retained his honor and his precious titles, it was the townspeople who soon had most of the wealth.

More and more, the merchant, the commoner, demanded an art of his own. With his newfound wealth he could insist on an art that he could understand and appreciate - an art for the unsophisticated, common man. What emerged was a style that reflected their new mood of affluence, the mood of the theater, the mood of the gay quarter, the Yoshiwara. An art that was simply and purely decorative, for no other cause than to delight the eye.

Although this new freedom of expression in the art world delighted the merchant-sponsors no end, it was most certainly not an art for the Royal Court. Sealed off from the rest of the country, inbreeding and dabbling in poetry, they knew little of what was going on. Nor would this art receive a nod of approval from the clergy who clung to traditional art styles designed for piety and retribution.

That this art was until recently held in low esteem by the Japanese themselves is not too difficult to understand. After all, in the rigid society of the time, this art was not only commissioned by patrons from the very bottom of the social structure, it was created by artists whose minds were not necessarily pure; modeled by subjects dominated by the red light houses of the Yoshiwara.

The Artists
Joe D Price

It was an exhilarating time in Japan in those days. There was enjoyment in life. The theater boomed and was crowded by people with boisterous appetites and extravagant clothes. The red light districts prospered and became centers of entertainment. And the artist, freed of the restraints of an imported culture, developed his own techniques and chose for his subjects things of beauty and the contemporary life around him.

The training of an artist began when he was first able to hold a brush. It would continue under a master for 20 to 30 years while he patiently improved his control and gained the technical knowledge of inks and materials, until finally his skill neared the perfection of his teacher. Only then was he allowed to paint. Under disciplines such as these the artist developed his techniques and mastery over his medium to an incredible degree.

One can be certain that whatever a painting seems to lack was deliberately omitted by the artist. He eliminated everything that was not essential. Snow can even be suggested by eliminating brush strokes. There was almost no shading. Depth was implied rather than stated. Composition and balance were the primary considerations. The feeling or mood of the artist himself did not predominate; it was the inherent nature and essence of the object alone that was important.
wildcrane at 3/22/2008 01:57 快速引用
牛 牛
开会 at 3/22/2008 06:08 快速引用
我正好打算去D.C.呢 牛
PHOEBE at 3/22/2008 10:26 快速引用
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