Four Stages of Acceptance
This chapter discusses the history of Japanese oil painting from 1860 to 1910 by dividing it into four stages that characterize the acceptance of Western-style art in Japan. The first stage took place in about the middle of the eighteenth century, when a number of painters of the Satake clan in Akita began creating works using Western perspective. The second stage took place at the end of the Edo period, which saw the opening of the Technical Art School in 1876 under the auspices of Itō Hirobumi. The third stage began with painters who went to Europe without any prior training in Western art before their departure, led by Kuroda Seiki. In the fourth stage, which took place after Kuroda’s return from Paris, the painters were sufficiently prepared to face the realities of the contemporary art scene in Europe; one of them was Mitsutani Kunishiro. The chapter also considers the differences between the first and second stages, along with the rise of history painting in Japan in the 1880s and 1890s.
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