Japan art and Yamamoto Hosui (1850-1906)

Japan art and Yamamoto Hosui (1850-1906)

Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Yamamoto Hōsui (1850-1906) was born during the late Edo Period. Hence, Yamamoto was a Meiji artist who became enlightened by the European art scene. 

In his younger days, he studied Bunjinga art which belongs to high culture and the influence of the Middle Kingdom (China). The literati cultural traits of Bunjinga in Japan were swapped for the intelligentsia art circles he encompassed when in Paris. Therefore, the high cultural characteristics of China, France, and Japan appealed greatly to Yamamoto.

He studied art under Charles Wirgman, Goseda Horyu, and Antonio Fontanesi. Wigman hailed from England and focused heavily on art, cartoons, and satire. Fontanesi – despite coming from Italy – adored the French art school of Barbizon. Yamamoto also taught this form of art in Japan after being influenced by Fontanesi. 

During Yamamoto’s decade-long stay in France, he developed his art dramatically. Hence, Yamamoto’s Bunjinga roots easily flowed into his circle of artists and intelligentsia friends that lived in Paris. Therefore, a sense of elitism emerges throughout his life. 

Yamamoto had a good friendship with Kuroda Seiki. Indeed, Yamamoto and a few other individuals encouraged him to take up painting.


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