Philadelphia Museum of Art has introduced duel exhibitions primarily prepared from works owned by the Museum.

It was in two sections, the Europe Impressionists and a collection of works by one of Japans most famous artists Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. His works were influenced by the European Impressionist movement (Mid-19th Century). While his works contained Japanese people costumes and backgrounds, changes can be seen by different European paints becoming available as Japan began to enter the international trade market in the mid 1800’s.

Some of the mentioned brighter pants are visible in some of his early drawing of Japanese savage events.

Early in his career his works were limited by local censorship (by the controlling Shogan style government) in that nothing was allowed to be produced that showed anything negative about Japan or the Japanese people. This form of censorship forced the artist to rely on “Fairy –Tale” type presentations of current events plus theatre opening nights and landscapes.

As the Japanese political methods changed from the Shogug leadership back to an Emperor controlled central government and trade gradually opened with the rest of the world his works “championed the artistic culture of feudal Japan while addressing the new realities of the modern world”

There were Images from his early works (1866-1876) depicting unbelievable scenes of “horrors” such as the “warrior” dying of Disembowelment” from a selection of “One Hundred warriors” and “Fearless Before a Ghost” from the series “Beauty and Valor” to much gentler images “I want to cancel my subscription (woman reading a newspaper) from the series “A collection of Desires” (1878) and “Etiquette The Twelfth Century warrior on Horseback from the series “Eight Honorable Ways of Conduct” (1889).

There was rapid growth of the newspaper Industry in Japan beginning in 1873 which led to other commissions. He developed a more expressive approach that combined western prospective with traditional subjects and styles. In addition he added vivid color by using new inks and dyes. As shown in the series “Beauties and Seven Daytime Flowers” (1878) which featured beautiful women with flowers.

Prints of fires and firemen depicted the importance of fires in Japan including one of a devastating fire in Tokyo (1876). Along with objects such as a fireman’s coat and hood make an interesting section.

A new desire to preserve Japanese “culture and literary traditions arose in the 1880; following the rapid modernization of the previous years and Yoshitoshi produced his most celebrated “One Hundred Aspects of the Moon” (1885-92). Images of the moon in different stages as backdrop for images from stoic warriors to everyday townspeople to demons, poets and courtesan referencing stories relating to the moon. (The museum owns the complete series). “These prints contributed to his status as the most popular artist in Tokyo at the time of his death.

The exhibition was organized by Shelly Lansdale, The Curator of Prints and Drawings.

“The Impressionist’s Eye” is the name given to the new exhibitions which is “The most extensive exhibition of impressionism and post-impressionism events be assembled form the collection at eh museum” (April 16-August 18, 2019).

This exhibition contains over 80 works in a variety of media (Painting, sculpture, prints, drawing and pastels).

The Impressionist’s Eye gives the public a chance to see many works which have not been seen for a decade or more. The art works are divided by theme such as nature, modern city, still life, people and bathers. This is particularly important as one of the featured paintings “The Great Bathers” (1884-87) by Renoir had just been returned from being newly conserved on the century of the artist’s death, thanks to a special grant from the Bank of America. This revealed the original rosy tones on the flesh which had been darkened by years of varnish. A fascinating display was a small slice of canvas showing the accumulations of paints, varnish and dirt through the years.

Many of the objects d’arts were on paper rather than canvas which is unusual in a gallery showing but they showed the wide latitude of talent, ingenuity and artistry of the artists.

The museum owns so many paintings on paper the items will be changed mid-way through the exhibition time to avoid excessive light exposure.

“Impressionism” started in France in the 1870’s setting the stage for experiments with color, line and form radically altering the course of modern painting. This exhibition includes works that were presented in several impressionist exhibits in 1870-1880 as well as informal sketches and studies that were “more experimental or personal in nature”

The curator for The Impressionist’s Eye “is Jennifer Thompson –curator of European painting and sculptures for the museum.

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