For the first time in Europe, audiences will have the privilege of discovering the masterpiece created by Itō Jakuchū (1716-1800). A singular figure of the Edo period (1603-1867), Jakuchū is known as one of the eccentric or independent artists of Kyoto, who were not tied to any artistic movement in particular but who created a totally personal style. It was not until the age of forty that he dedicated himself entirely to painting. This set of thirty rolls entitled Images of the Colorful Kingdom of Living Beings (Dōshoku sai-e) is his most ambitious work, created over nearly a decade. With its flowers, fish and birds, it represents one of the most remarkable examples of Japanese polychrome painting in the eighteenth century. This set, which belongs to the Imperial Agency of Japan and is in every way exceptional, has only left Japan once before, in April 2012, when it was presented at the National Gallery in Washington. It is being shown only in Paris, accompanied by the Buddhist triad of the Shōkoku-ji temple, and for just one month because of its fragility.
CURATORS: Aya Ota, Chief Curator of the Museum of Imperial Collections (Sannomaru shozokan); Manuela Moscatiello, responsible for the Japanese collections at the Cernuschi Museum
This exhibition is being shown on the 160th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and Japan in 2018, on the theme of “Japonismes 2018 : les âmes en résonance” (“Japonismes 2018: Souls in Resonance”).
This exhibition is jointly organized by the Japan Foundation, Nikkei Inc., Imperial Household Agency of Japan, the Petit Palais, musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris and Paris Musees.