Edo: Art in Japan 1615-1868

Singer, Robert T; Godall, Hollis; Harris, Bictor; McKelway, Matthew; Ooms, Herman; Rousmaniere, Nicole Coolidge; Smith II, Henry D; Takeda, Sharon S; Takeuchi, Melinda

Published by National Gallery of Art, 1998
ISBN 10: 0300077963 / ISBN 13: 9780300077964
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National Gallery of Art/Agency for Cultural Affairs/Yale University Press, New Haven CT, 1998. Hard Cover. Book Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. "The West's understanding of historical Japan is almost wholly based on works of art from the Edo period--screen paintings of landscape settings and city life, woodblock prints of sumo wrestlers, kabuki actors, and courtesans; brilliantly colored porcelains; exquisitc textiles made for no theater or wealthy patrons. One hallmark of Edo art is the lack of distinction between 'high art' and 'crafts': an artist was as likely to design a lacquer box or a ceramic bowl as to paint on paper or silk. This lavishly illustrated book presents examples of Edo art in al media, discussed in the context of ornament, samurai arts, work, religion and festivals, landscapes and travel, and entertainment. Experts in the field have written essays that address the themes and entries that focus on the individual works of art.". Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Shows and describes Edo-period art, including screens, armor, woodblock prints, pottery, and kimonos

Review: Edo: Art in Japan 1615-1868 is the lavish catalog of an exhibition organized on a scale never before attempted--even in Japan. There, the art of the Edo period is considered too vast a subject for a single show. Edo, the old name for Tokyo, has come to represent the two and a half centuries when the shogun's government intentionally isolated Japan from the rest of the world. Much of the huge wealth generated by this intensely hierarchical and inward-looking society was devoted to the creation of art and status items for the military rulers and rich merchants who supported them, with craftsmen producing works of extraordinary elegance and inventiveness. The show comprises nearly 300 objects, including 50 national treasures or important cultural properties, many of which have never before left Japan.

Besides scholarly descriptions of the objects, highly original essays by major art historians explore the six themes covered by the exhibition: ornament (or style); samurai; work; religion and festivals; travel, landscape, and nature; and entertainment. The vibrancy of a sophisticated urban population intent on pleasure suffuses the entire show, including, for example, a number of exquisite screens bright with gold that pulse with scenes of daily life in Edo. Among the most striking groups of objects are war helmets--functional, but given the most whimsical forms: a butterfly, a seashell, an upturned bowl. The superb quality of the objects and scholarship of the writing make this a landmark publication in Japanese art. --John Stevenson

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Edo: Art in Japan 1615-1868
Publisher: National Gallery of Art
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: As New
Edition: 1st Edition

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