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Competing painting ideologies in the Meiji period, 1868-1912

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Item Summary

Title:Competing painting ideologies in the Meiji period, 1868-1912
Authors:Pickhardt, John Brandon
Keywords:painting ideologies
Meiji era
Date Issued:Dec 2012
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2012]
Abstract:There were many forces that determined the degree of support that each ideology received throughout the Meiji period. The two primary external factors were foreign art critics who admired certain types of Japanese painting for familiar aesthetic qualities like realism, and the demands of the foreign export market that shaped international perceptions of Japanese identity through the taste in decorative goods. The popularity of Japanese art is known as japonisme, and it was characterized by the demand for lacquer, porcelain, bronze work, ukiyoe prints, and other types of decorative goods prized for their "Oriental exoticism." Appreciators of Japanese art romantically saw Japan as a nation "imbued with a deep love, appreciation and almost reverence for art," and, by the 1880s, the presence of Japanese art was seen in the homes of Americans and Europeans.10 The tastes and trends in the foreign market were a constant deterrent to the reception of contemporary Meiji nihonga and yōga painters whose works were dismissed in favor of works associated with Edo that were free from any perceived Western influences.11 It also ensures the support of traditional painting schools by Meiji officials who focused on the export market.
Internally, Japanese national painting was affected by the interpretations and beliefs of artists, critics, and intellectuals who introduced and elaborated on European art theories and aesthetics. Okakura and Fenollosa formed the center of a well-connected clique of painters, politicians, and scholars who favored a progressive painting style. However, the importation of Western art ideas carried the implications of superiority of Western aesthetics as well which become an influence in the governmental institutionalization of yōga in the 1890s. This thesis will examine how the domestic formation of painting ideologies affected the international reception of Japanese art. In addition it will cover the efforts by Japanese writers to educate foreign audiences on the qualities and history of Japanese art, while comparing those texts to contemporary publications by European and American writers. Throughout the Meiji Period, there was little recognition of Japanese writings in foreign publications, which suggests that by the end of the Meiji period, a national painting style failed to emerge despite the efforts to adapt European aesthetics and art to Japan.
Description:M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: M.A. - History
M.A. - History

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