Meiji and Taisho Era Painters from the Collection

The Age of Kuroda Seiki and Kishida Ryusei

Sep.3 (Sat), 2005 – Mar.12 (Sun), 2006
The exhibition The Age of Kuroda Seiki and Kishida Ryusei: Meiji and Taisho Era Painters from the Collection was the first to focus on the fascinating elements of Japanese Yoga (modern Western-style painting) in the museum’s collection.

Kuroda Seiki returned to Japan from France in 1893, and thereafter greatly changed the direction of modern Western-style painting in Japan. Kuroda, along with Fujishima Takeji, Okada Saburosuke, and others formed the art group known as the Hakubakai (White Horse Society). Their painting style was fresh and new, created in palettes that expressed the bright external light and dynamic sparkle of life in agile brush strokes. They were dubbed the “new school” vs. the existing “old school” of Koyama Shotaro and others, and they became the leaders of Western-style painting in Japan. Then, through the medium of the magazine Shirakaba and other forums, Meiji period painters working in western media came into contact with overseas art works and art movements then in favor. Through these influences they developed their own style during the truly individualistic Taisho period, predominantly the 1920s and early 1930s. This exhibition featured approximately 60 works by 14 artists, including Kuroda Seiki, Murayama Kaita who died at a young age, and Kishida Ryusei who created his own unique artistic world while being influenced by Asian art. This introduction of Western-style paintings from the Meiji through Taisho eras includes some works never seen before in public display.