Ancient Japanese Art and Art History

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  • GuideToArtHistory

    FamousArtistsArtStylesandPeriodsArtMediumsAncientArt

    IntroductiontoAncientJapaneseArtByArtHistory.net

    ArtinJapancanbetracedbacktothetenthcenturyB.C.TheearliestpeoplestosettleontheJapaneseislandscreatedartinvariousforms.Japanesearthasbeenheavilyinfluencedoverthecenturiesbywarinvadersintroducednewartistictechniquesandstyles.Historically,theJapanesealsoborrowedheavilyfromtheChinese.However,asJapaneseartevolved,itdevelopeditsownstylesandtraditions.Japaneseartcoversabroadspectrumwithmediumsandtypesthatincludepainting,origami,woodblockprints,literature,pottery,sculpture,calligraphy,architecture,andmanga.

    TheearliestJapanesepeoplecreatedstatuettesandpotteryvessels.By350B.C.,newimmigrantshadarrivedbringingtheirknowledgeofwheelthrownandkilnfiredceramics.Today,Japanesepotteryisamongtheworld'sfinest.TheintroductionofBuddhismtotheislandsofJapanbroughtwithitnewartformsthattheJapaneserefinedsuchasbronzecasting.TheJapanesealsoconstructedsingularworksofarchitecturesomeofthenation'soldestBuddhisttemples,forexample,stillexist.

    ThoughelaborateandstylizedformsofarchitectureareacornerstoneofJapaneseart,paintingwasalsoimportanttotheJapanesesincethelateHeianperiodaroundtheyear1000A.D.ArtistspaintedhandscrollsandpanelstoreflectstoriessuchastheTaleofGenji.Paintingstylesoftenchangedasrulinggroupschanged.LiketheChinese,manyJapanesepaintingsalsoreflectcalligraphyaspartofthedesign.Landscapes,portraits,andscenesoflifearetraditionalsubjectsassociatedwithJapanesepainting.

    TheJapanesealsohaverichtraditionofperformanceart.Music,theatre,anddanceareintegralpartsoftheJapaneseartworld.Manyoldformsoftheseperformanceartstyleshavesurvivedtothepresent.ForinstanceKabukiTheatreisstillacelebratedartformthatattractsvisitorsworldwidetoJapan.Folkdancesandtraditionalmusicisalsoperformedthroughoutthecountry.Drums,gongs,flutes,andstringedinstrumentsarehallmarksoftraditionalJapanesemusic.

    WhilevariousperiodsofJapanesehistoryarefamousfortheirparticularartstylesandcontributionstothedevelopmentofJapaneseartandaesthetics,theEdoperiodisparticularlywellknownforitsUkiyoewoodblockprintsandartofthePleasureQuartersofKyotothatcelebratedthecourtesansofthe"floatingworld."ManyoftheseworksarehousedinthefinestmuseumsaroundtheworldaswellasinJapan.

  • ManyofJapan'smostancientsurvivingworksthatincludepainting,lacquerware,ceramics,pottery,sculpture,andotherartformscanbeviewedassuchhistoricmuseum'sasthenation'sNaraMuseum,theTokyonationalMuseum,andtheKyotoNationalMuseum.

    SeeAlso:JapaneseGarden

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