Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art Masterpieces— 100 Years of Bijinga Paintings

Hiratsuka Museum of Art

poster for Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art Masterpieces— 100 Years of Bijinga Paintings

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The female image is an artistic theme that dates to antiquity and continues to this day. Carrying on the tradition of a universal feminine image seen in Yamato-e paintings and Ukiyo-e prints, the general image of women flowered as a central theme of art and diversified amid transformations in society from the Meiji era onward. The Kyoto School of Japanese painting is rooted deeply in tradition, yet includes histories of rebelling against the nationalistic and paternalistic systems that emerged in the late Meiji era. It depicted the outcries of the socially vulnerable and movements for women’s independence. While portraying the physical forms of these women, the Kyoto school also strove to get to the essence of their inner lives.
Kyoto School painters in the late Taisho and early Showa eras chose “modern girls” emblematic of their times as subjects, depicting them in blended Japanese and Western styles of dress amid modern furnishings of their wealthy lifestyles. Meanwhile, these works also included images of exotic women, reflecting Japan’s imperialistic policies. In sum, depictions of women can be said to be signs of their times. This exhibition presents 62 bijinga paintings spanning the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa periods that portray women responding intelligently to drastic societal changes.

[Related Event]
Curator’s Gallery Talk
Dates: May 9 (Sat), May 23 (Sat) 14:00–14:30
Venue: Exhibition Room 2
Exhibition Ticket Required

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from April 25, 2015 to June 07, 2015

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