|KEY WORD :@art history / paintings|
paintings and prints produced in Japan before the Meiji period, including
*nanban-e ìØG and
*koumouga gÑæ (also
known as ranga æ). Youfuuga artists experimented with western
painting techniques such as shading and perspective, as well as attempting
to simulate the medium of oil with thick, colored paints. Traditional Japanese
materials and subjects were also employed in combination with western techniques. Youfuuga began to be produced as early as 1540 after the introduction
of Christianity and is usually divided into two phases. 1) Predates the
ban on Christianity and the closing of the country in the mid-17c. Japanese
artists were trained as copiers of sacred paintings for the Jesuits, using
copperplate prints and paintings from the West as models. Many of the resulting
Japanese paintings were done on screens with traditional materials, but
western techniques such as heavy shading and one-point perspective were
attempted. Subject matter included Christian themes, scenes of European
nobility, depictions of battles between Christians and Moslems, western
warriors on horseback, Europeans engaged in some sort of outdoor activity
(such as playing musical instruments), and scenes of townscapes, cityscapes
and lifestyles of the people in western countries. Because the Japanese
artists were limited in what they could copy and the techniques they were
able to learn, individual works tended to be copied over and over with slight
variations. Phase I paintings are considered to be nanban-e but do
not include *nanban byoubu ìØ or *nagasaki hanga ·èÅæ in which western themes are depicted with Japanese materials and techniques.
2) Also called koumouga or ranga, developed in the 18c partially
as a result of the taste for foreign novelties but also in conjunction with
the Dutch studies rangaku w. Illustrations in Dutch books and copperplate
prints were used as models for artists interested in western techniques.
Oil painting was simulated with thick, colored paint and artists such as
Shiba Koukan in]¿ (1747-1818) produced copperplate etchings. Early proponents
were the *Akita ranga Hcæ painters who helped to introduce their style to Edo where Shiba Koukan
became an innovative student of things Dutch and one of the foremost disseminators
of European science in Japan at that time. Edo soon became a major center
of activity for Dutch studies and western paintings influencing a number
of artists including Aoudo Denzen ¢°cP (1748-1822), Tani Bunchou J¶è (1763-1840)
and Watanabe Kazan nÓØR (1793-1841). *ukiyo-e ¢G artists were also influenced by western art. These included Okumura
Masanobu ºM (1686-1764), who is credited with having invented the ukiyo-e (perspective print) to Katsushika Hokusai ükÖ (1760-1849) and Utagawa Kuniyoshi
ÌìF (1797-1861). Western painting techniques particularly influenced the
development of the landscape print in the 19c.
In Kyoto, Maruyama Oukyo ÛR (1733-1795) created perspective prints called *megane-e á¾G during his formative period as an artist. Oukyo was one of many artists whose interest in *shaseiga Ê¶æ (drawings from life) was influenced by Dutch scientific books. Wakasugi Isohachi áÜ\ª (1759-1805), Araki Jogen rØ@³ (c.1773-1824) and Kawahara Keiga ì´cê (c.1786-c 1860) are considered to be important and individualistic artists of western paintings in Nagasaki. Also worthy of mention are the *kara-e mekiki GÚ, official artists for the shogunate in Nagasaki, whose duties included the copying of imported paintings.
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