Hiroshige achieved his greatest fame in a series of

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Unformatted text preview: nd Buson had qualities that were unique and great, many other bunjin artists were mere Sinophiles, who turned to this style of painting as part of a greater craving for things Chinese. It is interesting to note that, even at a time when some Japanese were inaugurating a movement of National Learning with strongly xenophobic and nationalistic overtones, others—scholars as well as painters—were giving all their love to China. This is a paradox characteristic of the ambivalence with which the sensitive and highly adaptable Japanese have often confronted the dominant outside world, represented by China in premodern times and the West in the modern era. A second new school of painting to evolve in the eighteenth century was the realistic or naturalistic school, whose most outstanding practitioner was Maruyama Òkyo (1733–95). In this school, the influence of Western art was very strong and in fact the followers of Òkyo were the forerunners of one of the mainstreams of painting in modern Japan. Òkyo did many sketches and drawings from nature that are extremely detailed and realistic, but his most interesting works are his larger paint- 226 Heterodox Trends ings in which he sought to blend traditional Far Eastern and Western artistic styles. In contrast to the synthesizing efforts of Òkyo and others of the naturalistic school, the Dutch Studies painters openly attempted to imitate Western models. The best-known, although perhaps also the most extreme, representative of these painters was Shiba Kòkan (1738–1818). Kòkan did not actually study the Dutch language; but, in his diversity of interests and his love of Western scientific and utilitarian methods, he was very much the rangaku man. The paintings of Kòkan, who was the first Japanese to produce a copper engraving, are technically excellent and are definitive proof that long before the Meiji Restoration the Japanese had become thoroughly familiar with the mechanics of Western art. Kòkan’s work is apt to impress one more for its technique than its inspiration, but there is no denying the great contribution he made to this area of Western l...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at UBC.

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