Looking at adorable gestures and graceful appearances of animals calm, comfort and sometimes heal our hearts. Various animals have been depicted in Japanese paintings and cherished throughout history. The Yamatane Museum of Art is pleased to announce a special exhibition specially focuses on the charming expressions of animals found in the works of modern and contemporary Japanese painters, such as Takeuchi Seihō (1864-1942).
Takeuchi Seihō, one of the leading artists in the modern Kyoto’s painters circle, had chosen animals as the subject in his numerous works, and by the outstanding quality of description, became highly regarded as a master of animal painting. Tabby Cat [Important Cultural Property] created in 1924 (Taishō 13) is known as a representative work of Seihō and also a masterpiece of animal painting in the field of modern Japanese painting. Fascinated by a cat he encountered in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Seihō observed it carefully in detail and sketched it before completing this work. With skillful brushwork capturing the cat’s supple movement, incisive gaze and fine coat of fur, Tabby Cat is one of the most popular paintings in our collection.
In this exhibition, Tabby Cat is on view for the first time since the last time four years ago, alongside Seihō’s other 17 animal paintings. The exhibition also introduces various excellent animal paintings created by other artists, such as Nishimura Goun and Nishiyama Suishō, who studied under Seihō, from Kyoto painting circle Uemura Shōkō and Takeuchi Kōichi ,who are known for outstanding animal depictions, and Okumura Togyū from Tokyo. By exploring a number of unique works through the affectionate eyes of artists, you may step inside the paradise of the animals emerging on Japanese paintings, where adorable dogs and cats, vigorous horses and bulls, and even comical frogs are gathering.