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Ike Taiga and Tokuyama Gyokuran: Japanese Masters of the Brush

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Ike Taiga and Tokuyama Gyokuran: Japanese Masters of the Brush

by Felice Fischer, with Kyoko Kinoshita
Essays by Jonathan Chaves, Sadako Ohki, and Shimatani Hiroyuki
2007
504 pages
461 color and 26 black-and-white illustrations
ISBN 978-0-87633-199-6

Ike Taiga (1723–1776) and his wife, Tokuyama Gyokuran (1727–1784), were preeminent artists in eighteenth-century Japan. This landmark book—the only comprehensive survey available in English—focuses on the lives and times of these artists and accompanies the first-ever exhibition devoted to their work in the United States.

Considered by contemporaries to be an eccentric marvel, indifferent to worldly preoccupations, Taiga is best known as a pioneer of the so-called Nanga style, which emulated Chinese literati painting. He was hugely prolific and experimental, working in an impressive range of styles, techniques, compositions, and subjects to produce more than one thousand calligraphies and paintings, and many large-scale fusuma (sliding doors) and screens. While not as well known as her husband, Gyokuran was a significant artist and a well-regarded poet of Japanese verse. Taiga wrote poetry in Chinese as well as Japanese, and translated poems by both artists are featured prominently in this volume.

Felice Fischer is The Luther W. Brady Curator of Japanese Art and Curator of East Asian Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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