＜Exhibition＞ Five Ukiyo-e Favorites: Utamaro, Sharaku, Hokusai, Hiroshige, and Kuniyoshi – Tokyo, Fukuoka and Nagoya
A major exhibition of ukiyo-e works by five of Japan’s most beloved ukiyo-e masters, Kitagawa Utamaro, Tōshūsai Sharaku, Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige and Utagawa Kuniyoshi, is to be held in three main centres – Tokyo, Fukuoka and Nagoya.
In addition to woodblock prints held in Japanese collections, this touring exhibition features works by these five artists from the collections of Western museums and galleries, as well as from private overseas collections.
The exhibition, which is on at Tokyo’s Edo-Tokyo Museum until January 19th, 2020, before moving to Fukuoka and finally to Nagoya, is an extension of the major special exhibition of ukiyo-e prints held in 2014 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
Section One: Kitagawa Utamaro
Kitagawa Utamaro (c. 1753 – 1806) began producing ukiyo-e woodblock prints in around 1793, quickly establishing himself as a leading bijin-ga artist. The exhibition included many works from the 1790s, the peak of his career.
Section Two: Tōshūsai Sharaku
An artist whose true identity is shrouded in mystery, the prolific ukiyo-e artist Tōshūsai Sharaku was active for only ten months, beginning with his striking debut in May, 1794, with portraits of leading actors, characterised by a caricature-like quality. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to view an impressive line-up of Sharaku’s works.
Chapter Three: Katsushika Hokusai
Many of the works Katsushika Hokusai (1790 – 1849) painted after turning seventy were painted by hand. He pioneered a new style of landscape painting with his Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series, a large number of which are on display in this section of the exhibition.
Section Four: Utagawa Hiroshige
Utagawa Hiroshige (1797 – 1858) rose to fame as a landscape artist with his Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō Road series, a big hit. On exhibit are works from his many landscape series, as well as lovingly observed kachō-ga (paintings of flowers and birds).
Section Four: Utagawa Kuniyoshi
The exhibition features paintings of legendary samurai warriors and caricatures by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797 – 1861), the last of the great ukiyo-e masters. In his heroic triptychs, he pioneered the use of dynamic composition and distinctive colour that had not previously been seen in ukiyo-e. The paintings on display in this section delighted and entertained the common people of Kuniyoshi’s time.
Utagawa Hiroshige. Driving Rain at Shōno. From the series, Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō Road. c.1834-36. Large woodblock print. From the collection of the Edo-Tokyo Museum. On display December 17, 2019 – January 19, 2020 (in Tokyo).
Utagawa Kuniyoshi. The Ruined Palace at Sōma. 1845-46. Large woodblock triptych. On display December 17, 2019 – January 19, 2020 (in Tokyo).
Venue: Edo-Tokyo Museum, Special Exhibition Room (1st Floor) 1-4-1 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0015
Exhibition Period: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 to Sunday, January 19, 2020
Hours: 9:30 – 17:30 (Saturday：9:30 – 19:30). Entry is permitted until 30 minutes before closing.
Closed: Mondays (however, exhibition will be open January 13, 2020), and from Saturday, December 28, 2019, to Wednesday, January 1, 2020 (public holiday)
Admission (incl. tax): General 1,400 yen; college students 1,120 yen; junior/senior high school students, and seniors 65+, 700 yen.
＜Exhibition tours to: ＞
Fukuoka Art Museum (Fukuoka City) Jan 28 – Mar 22, 2020
Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art (Nagoya City) Apr 3- May 31, 2020
Please see the special exhibition website for further details: https://dai-ukiyoe.jp/english.html