Art of Japan and Homage to Aert Van Der Neer

Art of Japan and Homage to Aert Van Der Neer

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The artist Aert van der Neer (1603-1677) belongs to the Dutch Golden Age of art but sadly his life was blighted by poverty. It is difficult to imagine the real world that engulfed Dutch artists in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but artists including van der Neer provide glimpses. In saying that, these glimpses mainly apply to architecture, culture, landscapes, rural areas and other natural realities. However, the world that entrapped van der Neer personally during his life remains distant from his art. This applies to the endless struggles he faced with providing for his family, similarly it is known that van der Neer died in abject poverty.

Despite everything the legacy of van der Neer (Original image below is Aert van de Neer) remains potent within Dutch art. Likewise, for modern artists like Sawako Utsumi, who hails from northern Japan, it is clear that his individualistic qualities shine out. Interestingly, Utsumi did two recent art pieces focusing on another Dutch artist called Esaias van de Velde (Third image by Sawako Utsumi paying homage to Esaias van de Velde). Therefore, the Dutch art world of the sixteenth and seventeenth century appeals greatly to Utsumi.

Turning back to van der Neer then Kathleen Kuiper says “Apart from a number of accomplished winter scenes—such as View of the River in Winter in the manner of Hendrik Avercamp (1585–1634), who was among the first northern Dutch painters of winter scenes—van der Neer specialized in canal and river landscapes seen by the light of sunset or early dawn or—most characteristic of all—by moonlight, as in River Scene by Moonlight. Within this somewhat limited range, van der Neer had no rival among his contemporaries. His sensitive handling of subdued light and its reflections on water and in the windows of riverside houses is unequaled. Scholars agree that he was at the height of his powers from the mid-1640s to about 1660.”

Utsumi focuses on the Frozen River at Sunset by van der Neer. However, as usual, this intriguing Japanese artist provides her own angles in relation to color schemes, the background of nature and other realities. The upshot is a lovely homage to van der Neer whereby the original enters the mindset. Yet, the art piece equally acknowledges the personal qualities of Utsumi who creates a lovely art piece titled Japanese Light in Remembrance of Aert van der Neer.

At the time of writing, it is known that Utsumi will soon complete another art piece based on the exquisiteness of van der Neer. It is known that this includes replacing the background windmill with a Christian church. Therefore, the individuality and special qualities of Utsumi will fuse itself within the adorable art of van der Neer.

Overall, the intriguing reality of van der Neer shines brightly within the art of this contemporary Japanese artist. In this sense, while the differences of time, culture, religion, and notoriety are a million miles apart, the commonality of “art” and “passion” shines through elegantly by Utsumi who is paying homage to this distinguished Dutch artist. – Sawako Utsumi personal website – Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, postcards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests.

Sawako Utsumi – 1st, 3rd, and 4th image

Aert van der Neer – 2nd image

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