BALTIMORE, MD. — The Walters Art Museum has acquired seven exceptional works of Japanese art to complement its growing collections. The paintings are by well-known Japanese painters active between the 1560s and the 1810s. The seven paintings are Sesson Shukei, “Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers (Shosho hakkei),” circa 1860; Tawaraya Sotatsu, “Album Leaf Illustrating the Tales of Ise,” circa 1600; Sakaki Hyakusen, landscape, circa 1750; Soga Shohaku, “Orchid Pavilion,” circa 1760; Ike Taiga and Tokuyama Gyokuran, landscapes, circa 1770–1779; and Aoki Mokubei, landscape, circa 1810.
“Bringing these beautiful and important works of art to Baltimore permanently will have long-lasting significance for the museum collections,” said Robert Mintz, chief curator and Mr and Mrs Thomas Quincy Scott curator of Asian art at the Walters Art Museum. “Walters’ visitors will become familiar with works of art that played an important role in the development of the distinctive Japanese style of painting.”
Among the seven paintings are an extremely rare Sixteenth Century handscroll depicting the “Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers” by the famous Zen ink painter Sesson Shukei (1504–1589) and an equally unusual and important\album leaf by the painter Tawaraya Sotatsu (painted between 1602 and 1635). The two works are by artists whose lives and paintings inspired many generations of later artists.
Equally significant are landscapes by Sakaki Hyakusen (1697–1752) and Aoki Mokubei (1767–1833). These scrolls are examples of Japan’s creative spirit at work as they reveal both a traditional approach to painting and reveal a glimpse of the Japanese avant-garde. In these paintings, viewers can clearly see the personalities of the painters and feel their expression as it unfolds across the painted surface.
The paintings will go on view later in 2014.
The Walters Art Museum is at 600 North Charles Street. For information, 410-547-9000 or www.thewalters.org.