Harunobu from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Harunobu from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

4F Boston Gallery 5F Open Gallery
November 3rd(Fri), 2017 – January 21st (Sun), 2017
Suzuki Harunobu, Parody of Court Lady Tamamushi at the Battle of Yashima, Edo period, about 1766–67
Bequest of Miss Ellen Starkey Bates, 28.195
Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Suzuki Harunobu (1725?-70) is known as the leading Ukiyo-e (“Floating World” picture) artist in the creation of the high quality, multi-colored woodblock-printed Nishiki-e (“Brocade” print).
Young lovers, mothers and children, informal scenes from everyday life, parodies on classical themes (Mitate-e): Harunobu captured these in limited space, yet in refined, poetic images within his abundant Nishiki-e. The incorporation of Edo beauties and famous places in themes also contributed to the popularization of Nishiki-e. Today, Harunobu’s works remain in very small numbers of copies compared with those of later artists; as more than 80% of extant works by Harunobu are held overseas, opportunities to see his art in Japan are extremely limited. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston prides itself with the best collection in the world both in quality and quantity of its Harunobu Collection, from which 150 items have been chosen here. This exhibition gives a comprehensive view of the artistic activity of Harunobu, and at the same time, by including related works by his predecessors and those he duly influenced, conveys a sense of the times that nurtured him as an Ukiyo-e artist.

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