Suzuki Shônen and Japan Art

Suzuki Shônen and Japan Art

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Suzuki Shônen was born in the late 1840s and died in 1918. His father, Japanese high culture, Kyoto (his birthplace), China, and various traditional art forms influenced him.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art says, “Together with his father, Suzuki Hyakunen, Shonen was one of the leading painters active in Kyoto during the Meiji period. After the country became more open to the West in the second half of the nineteenth century, they made efforts to preserve the subjects and style of traditional Japanese painting.”

Shônen – despite being shaped by his father – took an individualistic approach to art.

In fairness, unlike his father, the Meiji Period (1868-1912) was a great time to be an artist in Japan. This concerns the growing influence of Western art, international interaction, technological advancements, and a completely different mindset among the upper echelons of the art world in Japan.

The three contrasting art pieces in this article highlight the individualism of Shônen.

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