Japanese Art and Reflection of the Dutch Artist Esaias Van De Velde

Japanese Art and Reflection of the Dutch Artist Esaias Van De Velde

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times


The artist Esaias van de Velde was born in Amsterdam and just like in Japan religious issues were extremely problematic during this period of history. Esaias knew this reality at first hand because his father had fled to Amsterdam because of anti-Protestant persecution. Similarly, during the Tokugawa period (1603-1868) in Japan you had an inquisition against Christians that resembles the cruelty of ISIS (Islamic State – IS) and al-Shabaab in modern times.

Esaias was born in the late sixteenth century and passed away in 1630. It is known that Esaias was influenced by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569) – who was also called “Peasant Bruegel” – based on the fact that his father adored this artist.” This intriguing name was based on Bruegel focusing on landscapes and scenes involving peasants. Therefore, Esaias during his informative years had a clear artistic direction.


The German artist Adam Elsheimer (1578-1610) also appealed greatly to Esaias. However, unlike the peasant art genre that became so important to Bruegel, the artist Elsheimer focused on different art forms. Not surprisingly, the popularity of Elsheimer influenced the Baroque artistic world despite his relatively short life.

Turning the clock forward to modern Japan in the twenty-first century, then the female contemporary artist Sawako Utsumi adores the exquisite landscapes of Esaias. It could well be that Esaias reminds Utsumi of aspects of her childhood in Sendai and her visits to the countryside of Fukushima – and other rural communities in adjacent prefectures. Therefore, the rural landscapes by Esaias and other artistic themes by this sublime artist appeals greatly to Utsumi.


Other artists who influenced Esaias include Roelant Savery and Jan Van de Velde. Likewise, Esaias himself influenced a plethora of artists during his lifetime and this notably applies to Jan van Goyen. The legacy of Esaias therefore is extremely rich because he is one of a few acclaimed artists who are the founding fathers of Dutch realist landscapes in the early part of the seventeenth century.

Utsumi herself adores the richness and simplicity of many art pieces by Esaias. After all, many individuals all over the world find inner-peace while walking in the countryside. Given this reality, and the artistic nature of Utsumi, then Esaias opens up the old world of western Europe based on his stunning landscapes.

http://sawakoart.com – Sawako Utsumi personal website

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sawako-utsumi.html – Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, post cards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests.


Sawako Utsumi – 1st and 3rd image

Esaias van de Velde – 2nd image


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