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Itō Jakuchū's Colorful Realm: Juxtaposition, Naturalism, and Ritual

Yukio Lippit, professor of Japanese art, Harvard University. Exhibition curator Yukio Lippit discusses one of Japan's most renowned cultural treasures, the 30-scroll set of bird-and-flower paintings by Itō Jakuchū, in this lecture recorded on April 29, 2012. To mark the closing of the month-long exhibition Colorful Realm: Japanese Bird-and-Flower Paintings by Itō Jakuchū (1716-1800), Lippit provides an overview of the 30 scrolls and the Buddhist triptych that served as their centerpiece. In addition to celebrating the centennial of Japan's gift of cherry trees to the nation's capital, the exhibition represents the first time these works were shown together in the United States- being lent to the National Gallery of Art by the Imperial Household Agency and the Zen monastery Shōkokuji in Kyoto. Lippit also offers a multifaceted understanding of Jakuchū's virtuosity and experimentalism as a painter- one who not only applied sophisticated chromatic effects but also masterfully rendered the richly symbolic world in which he moved.