European art influence on Fujishima Takeji
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Time
The stunning art of Fujishima Takeji (1867-1943) remains a wonder to behold. He belongs to the Meiji, Taisho, and early Showa periods of Japanese history. However, the European art world impacted Fujishima enormously.
His yoga (Western-style art) pieces of art naturally fuse various European artistic cultures within the world of progressive Japanese artists that he belongs to. Impressionism, Romanticism, Art Nouveau, and other art forms impacted the artistic soul of Fujishima.
The MIMOCA (Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art) says, “Takeji Fujishima (1867-1943) was a noted Yoga (Western-style) painter, active from the late 19th to the mid-20th century in the Hakuba-kai (White Horse Society) and Bunten and Teiten exhibitions of the Japanese Art Academy. Fujishima is known for richly decorative images of women that fuse East and West, and for concise compositions painted in pursuit of the ideal sunrise in his later years. Alongside his career as a painter, he in 1896 became an associate professor at the Tokyo Fine Arts School’s Western Painting Department, where he taught many young artists. Under his training, Genichiro Inokuma (1902-1993) embarked on a career as a painter. “
It is known that Fujishima studied under Togaku Hirayama during his informative years. Both artists were from Kagoshima. In 1882, at the Kagoshima Middle School, he studied brushstrokes and other angles of art. Two years later, Fujishima moved to Tokyo to further his artistic ambitions.
In 1884, Fujishima studied under Gyokusho Kawabata. His teacher taught him traditional Japanese art forms. However, it became apparent to Fujishima that the lore of European art appealed more. Therefore, Fujishima’s Western-style artistic mindset was developed by Yukihiko Soyama and Hosui Yamamoto.
During another informative period in the development of the art of Fujishima, he studied under Fernand Cormon (Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts) in Paris and under Carolus-Duran (French Academy in Rome) in Italy. His teacher Cormon was a leading historical painter – and Carolus-Duran taught portraiture art to Fujishima.
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