The Poetry of Nature: Edo Paintings

from the Fishbein-Bender Collection

Exhibition Website

Feb 27 2018 - Jan 21 2019

Painting blossomed in Japan during the Edo period (1615–1868), as artists daringly experimented with conventional styles. In this exhibition, more than 40 examples of Edo-period paintings from the collection of Estelle P. Bender and her late husband T. Richard Fishbein—mostly gifts and promised gifts to The Met—will help trace the development of the major schools and movements of this fascinating era. Contemporary Japanese ceramics will be juxtaposed with Edo-period paintings, while works in various formats and media from The Met collection will provide context. The celebration of the natural world will serve as a unifying theme, and the intertwined relationship between poetry and the pictorial arts—so fundamental to Japanese tradition—will be a particular focus of the exhibition.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website 

Whether you go or not, the exhibition catalog, The Poetry of Nature: Edo Paintings from the Fishbein-Bender Collectionoffers an in-depth look at more than 40 extraordinary Japanese paintings that represent every major school and movement of the Edo period, including Kano, Rinpa, Nanga, Zen, Maruyama-Shijō, and Ukiyo-e. The unifying theme is a celebration of the natural world, expressed in varied forms, from the bold, graphic manner of Rinpa to the muted sensitivity of Nanga. Among the artists whose works are included are Ike Taiga (1723–1776), Maruyama Ōkyo (1733–1795), and Sakai Hōitsu (1761–1828). John T. Carpenter looks specifically at the intertwinement of painting and poetry, a Japanese artistic tradition that reached new heights during the Edo period. In addition to new readings and translations of Japanese and Chinese poems, Carpenter sheds light on the ways in which Edo artists used verse to transform their paintings into a hybrid literary and visual art.

Select The Poetry of Nature: Edo Paintings from the Fishbein-Bender Collection to learn more, or to place this exhibition catalogue in your Amazon shopping cart.

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