Japan art and Suzuki Harunobu: Birds, boating, and beauty

Japan art and Suzuki HarunobuBirds, boating, and beauty

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Suzuki Harunobu (1725-1770) is one of the most distinctive artists of eighteenth-century Japan. He produced countless amazing art pieces depicting stunning ladies (bijin-ga) to more erotic art (shunga).

However, in the first art image of a beautiful kingfisher, Harunobu also depicted an array of other themes. Often, he depicted everyday occurrences that happen throughout the seasons – to nature. 

Above is a delightful image that highlights the fashion of the day and people preparing Autumn leaves to be burnt. Everything looks so simplistic – but in a stylish sense. Hence, the angle of fashion, burning leaves in Autumn, and the feeling of serenity all materialize naturally.

In the stunning art above, you have birds looking for fish to keep them alive in winter. One bird is still in motion and waiting patiently. However, the other bird looks more eager and will soon land. Therefore, birds in search of food and snow falling is a lovely scene witnessed by most people in Japan during the winter period. 

The MOA Museum of Art says, “Harunobu (1725-70?) who is said to have perfected the full-colored prints known as nishiki-e or brocade pictures, was the first to produce ukiyo-e prints using quality paper and pigments.”

In the art piece above, three people enjoy boating on a mild day. Once more, the richness of fashion, serenity, and the everyday angle of fishing fuse naturally. Therefore, Harunobu can make the mundane come alive through the prism of art.

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