An exhibition opened last week at the Yamatane Museum of Art in Hiroo, Tokyo, under the title “The Rimpa School and Autumn Colors in Japanese Art” with the designation of a “Special Exhibition: Celebrating the Rimpa School’s 400th Anniversary.”
Rimpa tradition in Japanese art is its growing popularity over the past four decades, ever since the name “Rimpa” was first coined for a 1972 exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum to bring what had previously been a vaguely defined current in Japanese art together under a single name as a distinct school.
Yuji Yamashita, a professor of Japanese art history at Meiji Gakuin University and adviser to the Yamatane Museum of Art, said: “It appears to have been a decision of the city of Kyoto, which is now hoping to promote the Rimpa tradition as a Kyoto-based art movement that originated with the formation of an art colony in Takagamine, north of Kyoto, in the year 1615 by Honami Koetsu.”
A famed calligrapher and designer, Koetsu (1558-1637) worked with the painter Tawaraya Sotatsu (active ca. 1600-1640) as an inspirational leader of what would become the Rimpa tradition.
Known primarily for its fine collection of Nihonga-style paintings, the Yamatane Museum of Art is also the owner of several of the most important works from the early period of the Rimpa tradition, including some of the finest examples of the artistic collaboration between Sotatsu and Koetsu, such as the “Fragment of the Shinkokinshu Poetry Anthology: Deer” (17th century).
“The Rimpa School and Autumn Colors in Japanese Art” will be held through Oct. 25 at the Yamatane Museum of Art in Tokyo.
Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Mondays (except Sept. 21 and Oct. 12), Sept. 24 and Oct. 13.