Picturing Place in Japan

 
Japanese, Edo period, 1615–1868, Ike Taiga 池大雅, 1723–1776. Mount Fuji. Hanging scroll; ink on paper. Princeton University Art Museum acquisition from the Gitter-Yelen Collection

For more than a millennium, the representation of place has been a dominant subject of Japanese painting. Sometimes paintings evoke the topography of an actual location, suggesting a painter’s observation on site, but more often the place depicted is imagined or based primarily on pictorial precedent. For painters, pictures of place were a means of exploring brushwork and form, as well as evoking poetry, paradise, distant China, sacred sites, and the familiar or remote famous places of Japan. The exhibition centers on a set of exceptional loans from the renowned Manyo’an Collection, supplemented by paintings from the Princeton University Art Museum, and features some twenty works of varying scale, medium, and subject that together showcase the distinguished tradition of depicting place in Japanese painting.