Leiden is breaking new ground again with the arrival of around 130 prints from the renowned Japanese printmaker Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861). We will be exhibiting the highlights of a Japanese single owner collection for the first time in Europe. From 7 December Japan Museum SieboldHuis presents the exhibition 'Heroes, Humour, Horror'. Japanese print art from Utagawa Kuniyoshi in two parts. Simultaneously with 'Heroes, Humour, Horror' Museum Volkenkunde shows a selection of original designs made by Kuniyoshi.
This exhibition showcases Kuniyoshi's boundless imagination and versatility. It clearly explains the link between the contemporary manga and anime artists that still are inspired by his work today. This exhibition is an absolute must for afficionadoes of Japanese visual arts and is guaranteed to inspire.
Kuniyoshi is known for his prints of heroes and warriors but there is also room for his depictions of kabuki-players, ghosts, demons and beautiful women in 'Heroes, Humour, Horror'.
Kuniyoshi broke through with his oeuvre with images of the tattooed Chinese heroes (the 108 heroes of the Suikoden). They are followed by powerful scenes from Japan's early history, samurai fighting against samurai in the battlefield. Alongside the battlefield scenes Kuniyoshi also depicted mythical stories such as that of Miyamoto Musashi, astride a giant whale as he attempts to deliver the fatal blow.
The print artist enjoyed producing portraits of geisha and courtesans. This exhibition also has a number of large fans decorated with women's faces, and also distinguished prints of actors and beautiful landscapes.
Some of the prints show a clear western influence. Kuniyoshi was bequeathed a number of 17th century books that were brought into Japan by the Dutch. He selected images from them that he then worked into his Japanese compositions. Finally there are the comic prints, inspired by the Arcimboldo composite portraits and depictions of anthropomorphic goldfish among other things.
For those who enjoyed the Yoshitoshi exhibition last year, now is your chance to see the work of his teacher in all of its glory.
Japan Museum SieboldHuis are proud to present an exhibition in two parts. Prints from one of the most important private Japanese collections that have never before been seen outside of Japan:
Part 1: 7 December 2013 until 19 January 2014 heroes, horror and beautiful women
Part 2: 21 January 2014 until 9 March 2014 landscapes, comedy prints and actors
After a stay at the SieboldHuis this exhibition will be moving on to Petit Palais Paris.
There are a variety of activities that will be taking place around this exhibition and for the children there is an exciting treasure hunt. For more information about the exhibitions, activities, lectures and guided tours please visit our website www.sieboldhuis.org.
The catalogue will be available in December:
Kuniyoshi, Yuriko Iwakiri & Amy Newland , 168 pp, 135 colour illustrations, € 47,-
Only during this exhibition in our Museumshop for €39,50.