"Undressing Paintings - Japanese Nudes 1880-1945" Exhibiton
This event has ended.
Paintings of naked figures are still being produced widely, and are familiar to us. Nevertheless, the custom of depicting in works of art and publicly appreciating naked and semi-naked human bodies is relatively new in Japan, introduced only after the middle of the Meiji period (1868-1912) as an element of a foreign culture mainly via France. After that, many painters explored various ways of presenting nude bodies before the custom eventually established itself firmly in the country.
Is eroticism necessary for art? How can we strike a proper balance between the two? Who is to determine the properness of the balance? While people including art lovers and the police were involved in such arguments, painters tried to figure out ways to handle nudes, having them lie or stand on their heads, with their limbs stretched or shortened, or lending unusual colors to them.
Presenting 100 oils dating from 1880s to 1940s, this exhibition explores the origin of the still actual issues around art and nudity. Through the exhibits ranging from Important Cultural Properties to little-known controversial works, we hope the show will provide a new perspective on the history of Japanese art centering on nudity.
[Image: Seiki Kuroda, "Chi Kan Sei" (Wisdom, Impression, Sentiment) (1899) National Museum]