宴の時代 : 雅宴画と遊楽図 [in Japanese] An Epoch for Pleasure : Paintings of "Fetes galantes" and of "Amusements in the Outdoors (yurakuzu)" [in Japanese]
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This article seeks to examine two paintings from roughly the same 18th century period and with the similar subjects of amusements or pleasures in the open air in order to compare the cultural milieu of the two great cities- Rococo Paris and earlymodern Edo- that produced them. From June through July 2012 at the Kyoritsu Women's University Hitotsubashi Campus Gallery we held an exhibit featuring the folding screen, "Pleasures under the Cherry Blossoms" (fig. I. 18th century, six-fold screen, pigments and gold on paper, Kyoritsu Women's University Collection). Included in the show were Edo period accoutrements for enjoying banquets and pastimes outside in the changing seasons. These included lacquer pieces such as a stacked food box (jubako) with gold maki-e decoration and serving vessels and cups for sake. There is a long tradition of visual representations in Japan that depict all kinds of people- especially as here nobility, samurai or wealthy urbanites- enjoying amusements, eating, and festivals out of doors. Bright, clear pigment colors, crisp outlines, realistic details to clothing and stereotyped naturalistic settings, and the generous use of gold characterize these popular screen paintings. The visual vocabulary of the seasons (such as cherry blossoms) has long been echoed in the exquisite decoration of furniture and utensils. A full size photographic reproduction of Antoine Watteau's famous "Embarkation for Cythera" (fig. 2, 1717, oil on canvas, Louvre Museum) was also displayed to give the exhibit viewers a suggestion of how in Rococo Europe a very similar theme was represented. France in the first half of the 18th century was characterized by an absolute monarchy (Louis XIV died in 1715), centralized power and wealth, and Paris where Watteau painted had become the pinnacle of Europe. The second half of the century was marked by new movements spurred by Enlightenment ideas that would result in changes in society towards modernization and even revolution that would depose the old nobility. Edo, the capital of Japan had more than a million inhabitants by the early 18th century. General peace and widespread prosperity produced a flowering of the arts especially in Edo and in part thanks to the reforms (under continuing tight and centralized control) of the Eighth Shogun, Yoshimune (r. 1716 to 1745). This article then touches on why two elites, cosmopolitan and largely urban, came to so enjoy the painting theme of amusements in the open air. In this article, it was indicated that the pictorial motif of the "Pleasures under the Cherry Blossoms" screen from the Kyoritsu Women's University collection is the pleasure district adjacent to the Sumida river. Satomi Yamamoto has been able to show that it is a combination of Yoshiwara and a cherry blossom viewing party. During the 18th century, this theme became extremely popular and a large number of screens with representations of parties under the cherry blossoms were painted. For example, there are many examples of such screens that combine images of cherry blossom viewing parties at Ueno and the river Sumida. The screen of the Kyoritsu Women's University collection is certainly one of this type and there is a high possibility that it was also painted at Edo. Then, Erika Peschard-Erlih discusses how Watteau (1684-1721) developed the "fete galante" paintings, which show beautiful aristocratic men and women of his time engaged in elegant amusements and love banter set in an outdoor scene suffused with soft glowing colors and light. These paintings became very popular and can be said to epitomize Rococo taste of the 18th century. -We would like to express our gratitude to Mrs. Peggy Kanada for her excellent English translation of this summary.
- 共立国際研究 : 共立女子大学国際学部紀要
共立国際研究 : 共立女子大学国際学部紀要 (31), 115-132, 2014