Japan Paintings have a tradition, which spans several millennia. A cursory glance will tell us that Japanese Painting abounds in exotic Asian charms and is very decorative, but further probing will reveal that it's a complex ritualistic art form. It has its deep roots in Zen Buddhism and the use of specific terms from the Japanese language makes this art form not always easily accessible for Westerners.
History of Japanese Paintings
The influence of Chinese paintings on the Japanese art form is unmistakable. The Japanese tradition of Painting reached their a sort of a pinnacle in the Heian period(A.D 794-1185), many interesting works of art were produced in this period. During periods of strong Chinese influence, new art forms were adapted, such as Buddhist works in Nara, ink painting in the Muromach period, and landscape painting by literati in the Tokugawa era.
Western painting technique came into being in the Meiji period. Oil painting found its way to Japan as late as the twentieh century. Urban Japan was the theme of most modern Japanese painters.
The Kyoto school of Art
The Kyoto school of art was an umbrella school of sub schools of art of Japan. If we were to make a generic study of these school then all of them would appear similar, but there were certain key differences. Many were in fact reactions to one another, an artist or group of artists seeking to express themselves differently from those around them.
Maruyama or Okyo school of Japanese painting
This painting school started by Maruyama Goshun in the late 18th century, one of several that made up the larger Kyoto school. This school follwoed the concept of realism. Painters from this school specialised in ink painting.
Media of Japanese Paintings
Japanese paintings used a great variety of media, western canavases were te least popular of them.
Some of them are listed below:
- Horizontal scrolls called emakimono
- Vertical scrolls called kakemono
- Folding screens called byobu
- Sliding doors called fusuma
- Fans called uchiwa
Themes of Japanese Paintings
Natural landscapes and views of famous palaces were the subjects of most Japanese paintings. Images of Westerners from the time of the landing of Portuguese and Dutch ships in the Southern parts of Japan was also another popular theme. Beautiful women, usually women from the pleasure quarters or geishas were the subjects of many portraits.
More and more Japanese painters are gaining honors around the world for their indigenous style. The popular demand of Japanese Paintings in the west since the 1970s has ensured the healthy life of the ancient art form.