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Past Exhibition

Uemura Shōen and Quintessential Bijinga,
Paintings of Beautiful Women

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Uemura Shōen, Firefly, Yamatane Museum of Art

29 August (Tue.) – 22 October (Sun.) 2017
(Closed on 19 September, 10 October, and on Mondays, except for 18 September and 9 October.)

Hours:10 am - 5 pm (Last admission at 4:30 pm)

Admission Fees: Adults: 1,000 [800] yen; university and high school students: 800 [700] yen; middle school and younger children: free of charge
*Figures in brackets are for groups of 20 or more, advance tickets, and those who are wearing kimono.
*Disability ID holders and one person accompanying them are admitted free of charge.

Organized by: Yamatane Museum of Art and Nikkei Inc.

Highlights of the Exhibition
The exhibition consists of four sections:

Section 1: Uemura Shōen—Fragrant Beauty

Uemura Shōen, Firefly, Color on Silk, Taishō Period, 1913, Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen, The Evening Glow, Color on Silk, Taishō Period, c. 1912-26
Uemura Shōen, Firefly, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1929, Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen, Evening, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1935, Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen, Fragrance of Spring, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1940, Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen, Tedious Hours, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1941, Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen, Composing a Poem, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1942, Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen, Feathered Snow, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1944, Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen, Snowy Day, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1948, Yamatane Museum of Art
And others, 18 works in total

Section 2: Famous Women from Literature and History

Uemura Shōen, Scene from the Noh Play Kinuta, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1938, Yamatane Museum of Art
Imamura Shikō, Kenreimon-in at Ōhara: Scene from the Tale of the Heike, Color on Silk, Meiji Period, 1909, Yamatane Museum of Art
Itō Shinsui, Courtesan Yoshino Tayū, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1966, Yamatane Museum of Art
Kataoka Tamako, Oei, Hokusai's Daughter, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1982, Yamatane Museum of Art
Kitazawa Eigetsu, Deep in Thought (Higuchi Ichiyō, A Meiji-Period Woman Novelist), Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1973, Yamatane Museum of Art
Morita Kōhei, Izumo no Okuni: An Ancient Kabuki Actress, Color on Gold-Leafed Paper, Shōwa Period, 1974, Yamatane Museum of Art

Section 3: Maiko and Geisha

Okumura Togyū, Maiko, Apprentice Geisha, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1954, Yamatane Museum of Art
Ogura Yuki, Dancing (Maiko, Apprentice Geisha), Color on Gold-Leafed Paper, Shōwa Period, 1971, Yamatane Museum of Art
Ogura Yuki, Dancing (Geisha), Color on Gold-Leafed Paper, Shōwa Period, 1972, Yamatane Museum of Art
Hashimoto Meiji, Dance, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1966, Yamatane Museum of Art
Hashimoto Meiji, Maiko, Apprentice Geisha, in Autumn, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1976, Yamatane Museum of Art
Hayashi Takeshi, Standing Maiko, Apprentice Geisha, Oil on Canvas, Shōwa Period, 1962, Yamatane Museum of Art

Section 4: Beauties Past and Present—Chic Japanese Garb Gorgeous Western Garb

Ukiyo-e:

Suzuki Harunobu, Picking a Persimmon, Middle Format (Chūban) Polychrome Woodblock Print (Nishiki-e) on Paper, Edo Period, c. 1767-68, Yamatane Museum of Art (On display 8/29-9/24)
Suzuki Harunobu, Breaking off a Plum Branch, Middle Format (Chūban) Polychrome Woodblock Print (Nishiki-e) on Paper, Edo Period, c. 1767-68, Yamatane Museum of Art (On display 9/26-10/22)
Torii Kiyonaga, Contemporary Beauties of the Gay Quarters: Two Geisha of the Tachibana District and Young Man, Large Format (Ōban) Polychrome Woodblock Print (Nishiki-e) on Paper, Edo Period, c. 1783, Yamatane Museum of Art (On display 9/26-10/22)
Kitagawa Utamaro, Seven Beauties of the Gay Quarters: Shinohara of the Tsuruya, Large Format (Ōban) Polychrome Woodblock Print (Nishiki-e) on Paper, Edo Period, c. 1794-95, Yamatane Museum of Art (On display 8/29-9/24)
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Thirty Two Aspects of Customs and Manners *, Large Format (Ōban) Polychrome Woodblock Print (Nishiki-e) on Paper, Meiji Period, 1888
*Total 16 prints from the set will be displayed during the two periods.

Modern Nihonga:

Hishida Shunsō, Women Viewing Cherry Blossoms, Color on Silk, Meiji Period, 1894, Yamatane Museum of Art
Kaburaki Kiyokata, Agalloch Pillow, Color on Silk, Shōwa Period, 1936, Yamatane Museum of Art
Ikeda Terukata, Evening Shower, Color on Silk, Taishō Period, 1916, Yamatane Museum of Art
Kobayashi Kokei, River Breeze, Color on Silk, Taishō Period, 1915, Yamatane Museum of Art
Itō Shinsui, Portrait of a Lady, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1957, Yamatane Museum of Art

Yōga, Western-style paintings:

Wada Eisaku, Girl in a Yellow Dress, Oil on Canvas, Shōwa Period, 1931, Yamatane Museum of Art
Hayashi Takeshi, Girl, Oil on Canvas, Shōwa Period, 1930, Yamatane Museum of Art

*Approximately 90 works in total are to be displayed.
*Ukiyo-e prints will be rotated during the exhibition period.

“Never once did I paint a work with the expectation that it would be a fine work as long as the woman depicted was beautiful. My earnest hope is that all my works are like fragrant jewels, always with a sense of fresh purity, never with even an iota of the vulgar,” said Uemura Shōen (1875-1949), who continued to create paintings of women throughout her life.

Our museum’s founder and first director, Yamazaki Taneji (1893-1983) and Shōen had close ties. Thanks to their friendship, the museum’s collection eighteen of her works, including masterpieces such as Firefly and Scene from the Noh Play Kinuta, is regarded as one of the best Shōen collections in Japan. This exhibition displays all eighteen of those paintings in one setting, accompanied by paintings of women by a variety of other artists.

The works by artists other than Shōen include bijinga (paintings of beautiful women) by ukiyo-e artists. They include images of slender and elegant young women, including Suzuki Harunobu’s rare Breaking off a Plum Branch, one of a very few extant examples of that print in the world, Torii Kiyonaga’s beautiful women, with their slim, beautiful proportions and fashionable kimono, and Kitagawa Utamaro’s elegantly charming women. In addition, in the first public display of a cherished collection borrowed especially for this exhibition, it will include prints from Thirty-Two Aspects of Customs and Manners, a masterpiece by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, an artist whose popularity has recently soared. We hope you will enjoy his abundantly witty bijinga.

For another perspective, the exhibition includes a richly varied group of paintings of women from the museum’s collection of modern paintings. These include women depicted as in Edo-period customs and manners by Hishida Shunsō and Ikeda Terukata, a cornucopia of beauties, past and present, in Japanese or Western-style garb by Wada Eisaku, Kaburaki Kiyokata, and Itō Shinsui, plus stately women depicted by women artists, including Ogura Yuki and Kataoka Tamako. This diverse array of bijinga paintings, from Edo-period to contemporary work, are a feast for the eyes.

Uemura Shōen, The Evening Glow, Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen,
The Evening Glow,
Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen, Evening, Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen,
Evening,
Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen, Scene from the Noh Play Kinuta, Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen,
Scene from the Noh Play Kinuta,
Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen, Tedious Hours, Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen,
Tedious Hours,
Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen, Snowy Day, Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen,
Snowy Day,
Yamatane Museum of Art
Suzuki Harunobu, Breaking off a Plum Branch, Yamatane Museum of Art
Suzuki Harunobu,
Breaking off a Plum Branch,
Yamatane Museum of Art
Kitagawa Utamaro, Seven Beauties of the Gay Quarters: Shinohara of the Tsuruya, Yamatane Museum of Art
Kitagawa Utamaro,
Seven Beauties of the Gay Quarters: Shinohara of the Tsuruya,
Yamatane Museum of Art
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Thirty Two Aspects of Customs and Manners: Tiresome/Noisy; Habits of a Virgin of the Kansei era [1789-1800], Meiji Period, 1888,
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi,
Thirty Two Aspects of Customs and Manners: Tiresome/Noisy; Habits of a Virgin of the Kansei era [1789-1800]
Hishida Shunsō, Women Viewing Cherry Blossoms, Yamatane Museum of Art
Hishida Shunsō,
Women Viewing Cherry Blossoms,
Yamatane Museum of Art
Ikeda Terukata, Evening Shower, Yamatane Museum of Art
Ikeda Terukata,
Evening Shower,
Yamatane Museum of Art
Kobayashi Kokei, River Breeze, Yamatane Museum of Art
Kobayashi Kokei,
River Breeze,
Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū, Maiko, Apprentice Geisha, Yamatane Museum of Art
Okumura Togyū,
Maiko, Apprentice Geisha,
Yamatane Museum of Art
Hashimoto Meiji, Maiko, Apprentice Geisha, in Autumn, Yamatane Museum of Art
Hashimoto Meiji,
Maiko, Apprentice Geisha, in Autumn,
Yamatane Museum of Art
Wada Eisaku, Girl in a Yellow Dress, Yamatane Museum of Art
Wada Eisaku,
Girl in a Yellow Dress,
Yamatane Museum of Art
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