Curator: Aynura Yusupova, Senior Researcher of the Department of Prints.
“Visual Arts of the Edo Period” is the main exhibition event of the Russian-Japan Bilateral Year. About 120 art works of painters representing various traditional art schools will be displayed int the project. Russian public will be able to appreciate the diverse spectrum of Japanese traditional art of 16th–19th centuries, including works by the masters representing Kano, Tosa, Rinpa, Nanga, Maruyama-Shijo, and Ukiyo-e schools of painting. Two art works have the status “national treasure”, ten items are considered “very valuable cultural artifacts” and another five items are “very valuable art pieces.” Some of these items are very rarely exhibited outside of Japan. In addition to the selected items from Japanese collections the exhibition will feature a number of paintings from the holdings of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts as well as paintings and graphical art works from the State Museum of Oriental Art.
The culture of Edo period (1603–1868) was not chosen randomly for this project. After a long period of civil strife the Tokugawa clan came to power in Japan and ruled it for the next 250 years. The feud ceased and the traditional arts and crafts started to develop. The city of Edo became the political and economical center when Tokugawa Ieyasu made it the capital of the shogunate. In 50 years a small village grew to become the city of 500,000 citizens. The Edo period saw a rapid urban development. The towns emerged around the castles, at the crossings of trade routes, and near the bays with harbors, the new estate of merchants and craftsmen arose, while the military estate remained the primary trend-setter in the arts during this period.
The Edo period was one of the most diverse in terms of the artistic trends, old and new, in the art history of Japan.