Catalogue from the exhibition held at: Kobe City Museum, April 15-May 28, 2006; Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, June 17-August 27, 2006; Edo-Tokyo Museum, October 21-December 10, 2006; Kimbell Art Museum, February 11-April 29, 2007; Royal Ontario Museum, May 18-August 12, 2007; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, August 28-December 16, 2007; Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, February-April, 2008.
"Westerners have been fascinated by depictions of Japan's 'floating world', the world of the theaters and brothel districts, since the mid-nineteenth century. Under the influence of such images, called ukiyo-e, the Impressionist painter Claude Monet even prortraited his wife as a Japanese dancing girl in La Japonaise (1876), now in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Contemporary European and American connoisseurs were eager to form extensive collections of ukiyo-e, but their access was primarily limited to woodblock prints. The costly, individualized paintings of the type displayed in this exhibition were relatively rare outside Japan. In light of this, the MFA is particularly fortunate to have amassed one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of these important paintings. Largely acquired through the efforts of Boston physician William Sturgis Begelow (1850-1926) during his residence in Japan in the late nineteenth century, the Museum's holdings of ukiyo-e paintings number over seven hundred works. Included are exquisitive paintings by all off the major masters from the seventeenth through the mid-nineteenth centuries. 'Drama and Desire' represents the first exhibition to highlight this collection." excerpt from the Director's foreword, Malcom Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Published by MFA Publications, a division of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2007 | Paperback
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