Takeuchi Seiho and Japan art: Fusion of ideas

Takeuchi Seihō and Japan art: Fusion of ideas

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Takeuchi Seihō (1864-1942) was born in Kyoto during the last few years of the Edo Period. In several lovely art pieces, he focuses on the Buddhist pagoda – thereby connecting with Kyoto and the cultural traits of Japan.

He was one of a few pioneers in the Nihonga art movement. Hence, he influenced many artists – for example, Miki Suizan (1887-1957).

Seihō’s personal artistic development gained massively from his teacher Kōno Bairei (Maruyama-Shijō School of Art). At the same time, the changing artistic sands of Japan during the Meiji, Taisho, and early Showa periods – entailed an amazing freshness to the art of Seihō.

The Umi-Mori Art Museum says, “The painter Takeuchi Seiho (1864-1942) was born in Kyoto and he was active in Kyoto from the Meiji period (1868-1912) to before the Second World War. He created a new style by applying Western forms of realism to traditional Kyoto painting. In doing so, he helped to modernize the Japanese painting scene. This museum’s collection includes the monumental ‘Historic Spot of Rome’ alongside numerous paintings, letters, sketches and other material from each stage of the great master’s life.”

Seihō won many esteemed accolades in Japan. For example, he was appointed the Imperial Household Artist in 1913 – and nominated in 1919 to the Imperial Fine Arts Academy. He was also awarded the Order of Culture – a very prestigious accolade.

The fusions of Western realism and Japanese-style paintings blended stunningly.


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