The Life of Animals in Japanese Art
Robert Singer et al.
Drawing upon Japan’s unique spiritual heritage, rich literary traditions, and currents in popular culture, its artists have long expressed admiration for animals in sculpture, painting, lacquerwork, metalwork, ceramics, textiles, and woodblock prints. Spanning 16 centuries, the nearly three hundred works in this volume present animals in a variety of guises, from messengers of the divine and symbols of power or good fortune, to comical or satirical actors, and manifestations of the beauty of the natural world. Real and fantastic creatures are meticulously rendered, often with humor and whimsy, by artists ranging from Itō Jakuchū and Utagawa Kuniyoshi to Kusama Yayoi and Nara Yoshitomo.
Contributions by an international team of Japanese art experts show how these artists employed creatures to teach virtuous behavior, mock customs, exemplify bravery, and celebrate life. Also featured are essays by leading scholars of Japanese literature, religion, and scientific inquiry. Richly illustrated, this volume reveals the connections between the natural world and visual and creative expression.
344 pages | 475 illustrations | 9 × 12 inches