Dutch painting, which had its golden age in the 17th century, has many small works. For example, many of Vermeer's works, which are popular in Japan, are about 50 cm by 40 cm. This is because the audience for paintings was not limited to the wealthy. The Netherlands was one of the wealthiest countries in Europe at the time, with the Dutch East India Company making huge profits from the spice trade and becoming a center of international finance with the establishment of banks and stock exchanges. As a result, it was common for not only the wealthy but also the common people to purchase paintings to decorate their homes.
In all ages and cultures, the houses of wealthy people are large, but the houses of common people are not so large. Therefore, paintings had to be small to be displayed in the homes of ordinary people. There is no room for large paintings. Painters produced small paintings to meet this need. This was a concept that did not exist in countries like Italy, where paintings were often created with the intention of being displayed in palaces and churches.
It is inevitable that works of art, such as Dutch paintings, are limited by the living environment of their time. In this light, the screen may no longer be appropriate for the modern Japanese home. Folding screens are furnishings used for partitioning and decoration, and many people may think of folding screens decorated with gold and silver when they think of Japanese art. But how many people in modern Japan live in houses large enough to accommodate them? It seems that screens have become a relic of the past. Michinobu Kano's "Shobai" (Pine and Plum Blossoms), exhibited at the Artison Museum in Kyobashi, Tokyo, is a brilliant, majestic work, but it was kept behind a strict glass case and treated as if it belonged in the category of archaeology rather than mere furnishings.
|Mar 2023 IN THE CITY TOKYO|
|ARTWORK DIMNESS KYOBASHI MUSEUM SILHOUETTE|
March 7, 2023
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS LOXIA 2/35