8 November 2014 - 25 January 2015
Sublime landscapes along Japan’s major trade routes, a young courtesan with a lascivious air, a kabuki theatre actor striking a dramatic pose – the woodblock prints of the ukiyo-e present a fascinating image of life in seventeenth to nineteenth-century Japan.
The Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main has in its holdings the rare early ukiyo-e prints from the Johann Georg Geyger collection as well as the masterworks of the Otto Riese collection – and thus one of the most superb inventories of this great Japanese art form in Europe.
Numbering more than 240 in total, the works from the two collections provide a fascinating image of life in a country almost completely isolated from the rest of the world during the period in question – from the early / mid seventeenth century until about 1850. The spectacular landscapes experienced on journeys and pleasure trips, the heroes of the kabuki theatre, but also erotic adventures – they all became the subjects of masterful prints that usually cost no more than a bowl of noodle soup and enjoyed great popularity throughout the bourgeois society of Edo-Period Japan (1603–1868).
Building on the success of the first exhibition in 2013, “Bursting with Life II” encompassed the seasonal rhythms, connecting autumn, winter, and spring with popular rituals and customs.
Dr. Bernd Jesse