News & events > [Exhibition] Lacquer by a master Japanese artist
06 Apr 2012 - 15 Jul 2012

[Exhibition] Lacquer by a master Japanese artist

70 pieces of lacquerware, screens, paintings, decorative and everyday life objects will be presented for the first time in France, illustrating the Japanese painter, Shibata Zeshin's masterful art. The exhibition at the Cernuschi Museum (Paris) is titled:
Lacquer Dreams, The Japan of Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891) With the collaboration of the Catherine and Thomas Edson Collection, San Antonio Museum of Art
Shibata Zeshin's career spanned two great periods in Japanese history - the Edo and Meiji periods. His paintings and the lacquerware bear witness to the artistic, political and social transformations of late 19th century Japan. A painter who worked for rich merchants, urban residents and temples under the old government, Shibata Zeshin was named painter of the Office of the Imperial House under the government of Emperor Meiji. He distinguished himself through his ink paintings on silk, creating trompe-l'oeil effects, and also invented the style of painting using coloured lacquer on paper. In the field of lacquer art, Shibata Zeshin developed a unique decorative device, using tone on tone decorative lacquers,  lacquers imitating iron or bronze or the very refined, delicate rosewood's texture. His works were presented in world fairs in Vienna (1873) and in Paris (1889), as well as the Japanese national fairs. They received numerous prizes and were admired and collected by Western art lovers, such as the British Christopher Dresser and the German Samuel Bing, creator of Art Nouveau. They played an important role in the development of tastes in the West.