Seison Maeda

Last updated
Maeda Seison
Seison Maeda 01.jpg
Maeda Seison in 1955
Born
Maeda Renzō

(1885-01-27)January 27, 1885
DiedOctober 29, 1977(1977-10-29) (aged 92)
Nationality Japanese
Known for Painter
Notable work
Dokutsu no Yoritomo
Movement Nihonga
Awards Order of Culture

Seison Maeda (前田 青邨, Maeda Seison, January 27, 1885 October 29, 1977) was the art-name of a nihonga painter in the Taishō and Shōwa periods of Japan. His legal name was Maeda Renzō. He is considered one of the greatest contemporary Japanese painters, and one of the leaders of the Nihonga movement.

Contents

Biography

Maeda was born in what is now Nakatsugawa city, Gifu Prefecture in 1885. His mother died when he was 13, and he moved to Hongō in Tokyo with his father. In 1901, through the introduction of Ozaki Kōyō, Maeda enrolled at the art school headed by Kajita Hanko, from whom he received the name "Seison" in 1902. He met and befriended fellow student, Kobayashi Kokei, whose work influenced many of Maeda's early paintings.

Maeda was a member of the Kojikai artistic group from 1907, and of the Japan Fine Arts Academy (Teikoku Bijitsuin) from 1914. He visited Korea in 1915 and China in 1919. Under sponsorship of the Japan Fine Arts Academy, he visited Europe in 1922, touring Rome, Florence, Paris and London for almost one year. Although he was greatly impressed by the frescoes of the Italian Renaissance master Giotto at Assisi, Maeda remained faithful to the traditional Yamato-e and Rimpa styles of Japanese painting, and came to be known for his watercolor paintings on historical themes, primarily portraiture. However, Maeda worked in a variety of genres, including still life and landscapes.

One of his most important works, Yoritomo in a cave, depicts medieval samurai leader Minamoto no Yoritomo hiding in a cave in Izu with seven of his trusted retainers after his defeat by the Heike clan at the Battle of Ishibashiyama. The work was completed in 1929, and won the prestigious Asahi Prize in 1930. It is now on display at the Okura Shukokan museum owned by the Okura Hotels in Tokyo. It was also the subject of a postage stamp issued by the Japanese government in 1982, as part of a series honoring Japanese modern art. Maeda became a member of the Imperial Art Academy in 1937. He toured Manchukuo and northern China in 1943 under the sponsorship of the Japanese government. In 1944, Maeda was appointed as an official court painter to the Imperial Household Agency, and taught painting to Empress Kōjun.

In 1946, Maeda became an official judge of the annual Japan Arts Exhibitions ( Nitten ). He was also a professor at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music from 1950 until his retirement in 1959.

Maeda was awarded the Order of Culture and was named a Person of Cultural Merit in 1955. In 1967, he was selected to assist in the restoration work on the frescos of the Kondo Hall of the temple of Hōryū-ji in Nara together with Yasuda Yukihiko.

His work was selected to decorate the Shakkyō-no-Ma hall of the new Tokyo Imperial Palace. The large painting was completed in 1955. [1] It depicts a Lion Dancer awaiting cue from the Noh play “Shakkyō” (石橋 "stone bridge"). The play is a fifth-category (kiri-nō) play featuring a lion dance (shishimai). [2] Two pieces also by him depicting Japanese camellia were added in the 1970s on either side of the lion dancer painting, called “Shiro-botan” in white and “Beni-botan” in red. [3] [4] [5]

In 1972, despite his advanced years, he was selected as the person most appropriate to assist in the restoration and preservation work of the ancient frescos in the Takamatsuzuka tumulus. In 1974, Maeda received a commission from Pope Paul VI for a painting of Hosokawa Gracia for the Vatican Museums.

Yoritomo in a Cave (洞窟の頼朝, Dokutsu no Yoritomo)
Yoritomo in a cave.jpg
ArtistSeison Maeda
Year1929
Type Nihonga
Dimensions190.5 cm× 269.9 cm(75.0 in× 106.3 in)
Location Okura Shukokan, Tokyo

After Maeda's home was destroyed by the firebombing of Tokyo during World War II, Maeda relocated to Kamakura, where he lived within sight of Kita-Kamakura Station from 1945 until his death in 1977 at the age of 92. His grave is a very distinctive 13-story white stone pagoda at the temple of Tōkei-ji in Kamakura.

See also

Related Research Articles

Kaii Higashiyama Japanese artist

Kaii Higashiyama was a Japanese writer and artist particularly renowned for his Nihonga style paintings. As one of the most popular artists in post-war Japan, Higashiyama was awarded the Japan Art Academy Prize in 1956 and the Order of Culture in 1969.

Yukihiko Yasuda

Yukihiko Yasuda was the pseudonym of a major figure in Taishō and early Shōwa period Japanese painting, and is regarded as one of the founders of the Japanese painting technique of nihonga. His real name was Yasuda Shinzaburō.

Yokoyama Taikan Japanese painter (1868-1958)

Yokoyama Taikan was the pseudonym of a major figure in pre-World War II Japanese painting. He is notable for helping create the Japanese painting technique of Nihonga. His real name was Sakai Hidemaro.

Japanese painting

Japanese painting is one of the oldest and most highly refined of the Japanese visual arts, encompassing a wide variety of genres and styles. As with the history of Japanese arts in general, the long history of Japanese painting exhibits synthesis and competition between native Japanese aesthetics and the adaptation of imported ideas, mainly from Chinese painting, which was especially influential at a number of points; significant Western influence only comes from the later 16th century onwards, beginning at the same time as Japanese art was influencing that of the West.

Nihonga are Japanese paintings from about 1900 onwards that have been made in accordance with traditional Japanese artistic conventions, techniques and materials. While based on traditions over a thousand years old, the term was coined in the Meiji period of Imperial Japan, to distinguish such works from Western-style paintings or Yōga (洋画).

Uemura Shōen

Uemura Shōen was the pseudonym of an important artist in Meiji, Taishō and early Shōwa period Japanese painting. Her real name was Uemura Tsune. Shōen was known primarily for her bijin-ga paintings of beautiful women in the nihonga style, although she produced numerous works on historical themes and traditional subjects. Shōen is considered a major innovator in the bijin-ga genre despite the fact she often still used it to depict the traditional beauty standards of women. Bijin-ga gained criticism during the Taisho era while Shōen worked due to its lack of evolution to reflect the more modern statuses of women in Japan. During bijin-ga's conception in the Tokugawa, or Edo, period, women were regarded as lower class citizens and the genre often reflected this implication onto its female subjects. Within the Taisho era, women had made several advancements into the Japanese workforce, and artistry specifically was becoming more popular outside of pass times for the elite, which opened way for Shōen's success. Shōen received many awards and forms of recognition during her lifetime within Japan, being the first female recipient of the Order of Culture award, as well as being hired as the Imperial Household's official artist, which had previously only employed one other official woman in the position. In 1949 she died of cancer just a year after receiving the Order of Culture Award.

Kanzan Shimomura

Kanzan Shimomura was the pseudonym of a nihonga painter in Meiji through to the early Shōwa period Japan. His real name was Shimomura Seizaburō.

Takeuchi Seihō Japanese painter

Takeuchi Seihō was a Japanese painter of the nihonga genre, active from the Meiji through the early Shōwa period. One of the founders of nihonga, his works spanned half a century and he was regarded as master of the prewar Kyoto circle of painters. His real name was Takeuchi Tsunekichi.

Hishida Shunsō

Hishida Shunsō was the pseudonym of a Japanese painter from the Meiji period. One of Okakura Tenshin's pupils along with Yokoyama Taikan and Shimomura Kanzan, he played a role in the Meiji era innovation of Nihonga. His real name was Hishida Miyoji. He was also known for his numerous paintings of cats.

Yasushi Sugiyama

Yasushi Sugiyama was a Japanese painter of the Shōwa and Heisei eras, who practiced the nihonga style of watercolour painting.

Togyū Okumura was a famous Japanese modern painter of the Nihonga style of watercolour painting. His original name was Yoshizō (義三). The name Togyū referred to a poem from his father who ran a publishing business.

Ikuo Hirayama, was a Japanese Nihonga painter. Born in Setoda-chō, Hiroshima Prefecture, he was famous in Japan for Silk Road paintings of dreamy desert landscapes in Iran, Iraq, and China.

Tamako Kataoka

Tamako Kataoka was a Japanese Nihonga painter.

Tomimoto Kenkichi

Tomimoto Kenkichi was a Japanese potter and a Living National Treasure.

Gakuryō Nakamura

Gakuryō Nakamura (1890–1969) was a Japanese Nihonga painter and designer.

Hōshun Yamaguchi (1893-1971) was a Japanese Nihonga painter and designer.

Meiji Hashimoto (1904-1991) was a Japanese Nihonga painter and designer.

Tatsuaki Kuroda was a Japanese woodworker and lacquerware artist. He was nominated a Living National Treasure in 1970.

Heihachirō Fukuda was a Japanese Nihonga painter and designer.

Tomohide Dote is a Japanese Nihonga painter.

References

  1. Joan Stanley-Baker. Japanese Art. Thames and Hudson, London. 1984. pg. 194. ISBN   978-0500201923.
  2. http://www.the-noh.com/en/plays/data/program_030.html
  3. http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/e-about/shisetsu/kyuden-ph.html
  4. http://blogimg.goo.ne.jp/user_image/68/1c/07023ad533f1a14b37be34aa85618120.jpg
  5. http://www.asahi.com/articles/photo/AS20141222003681.html

Further reading