The Poetry of Nature Edo Paintings from the Fishbein-Bender Collection John Carpenter, Midori Oka

Publication date:
13 Mar 2018
Metropolitan Museum of Art
224 pages: 273 x 241mm
125 color illus.
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The Poetry of Nature offers an in-depth look at more than 40 extraordinary Japanese paintings that represent every major school and movement of the Edo period, including Kano, Rinpa, Nanga, Zen, Maruyama-Shijō, and Ukiyo-e. The unifying theme is a celebration of the natural world, expressed in varied forms, from the bold, graphic manner of Rinpa to the muted sensitivity of Nanga. Among the artists whose works are included are Ike Taiga (1723–1776), Maruyama Ōkyo (1733–1795), and Sakai Hōitsu (1761–1828). John T. Carpenter looks specifically at the intertwinement of painting and poetry, a Japanese artistic tradition that reached new heights during the Edo period.  In addition to new readings and translations of Japanese and Chinese poems, Carpenter sheds light on the ways in which Edo artists used verse to transform their paintings into a hybrid literary and visual art. 

John T. Carpenter is Mary Griggs Burke Curator of Japanese Art in the Department of Asian Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Midori Oka is associate director of the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Japanese Art at Columbia University.