The Splendour of Modernity

Japanese Arts of the Meiji Era

Rosina Buckland
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A comprehensive overview of Japanese art between 1865 and 1915.

The Splendour of Modernity presents a comprehensive overview of Japanese art from 1865 to 1915, including painting, calligraphy, sculpture, prints, ceramics, lacquerware, textiles, basketry, metalwork, and cloisonne. It challenges misconceptions that foreign influence diluted the supposed authenticity of Japanese art during this era. Instead, Rosina Buckland highlights the development of distinctively Japanese artistic practices in response to new stimuli from overseas.

The book also dispels assumptions of artistic decline in the early Meiji era by examining the period from 1865 to 1885. Meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated, this captivating book showcases the resilience, innovation, and enduring beauty of Japanese art during a transformative period marked by Japan's global engagement and artistic evolution.

'This book is what the field of modern Japanese art history has long needed: a comprehensive, cogent and meticulously researched historical survey of Meiji-period art. Importantly, Buckland acknowledges the ways Meiji modernity was shaped by the updating of many domestic feudal-era traditional arts and cultural institutions as well as by the introduction of rapid, paradigm-shifting changes from abroad. Profusely illustrated and deftly argued, it clearly contextualizes the key ideas, issues and debates that shaped Japanese artmaking in the latter half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.' - John Szostak, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Contributor Bio

Rosina Buckland is Curator of the Japanese Collections at the British Museum, London. Her publications include Shunga: Erotic Art in Japan (2010).