Rêves de Laque — Le Japon de Shibata Zeshin



Rêves de Laque
Le Japon de Shibata Zeshin

Past: April 6 → July 15, 2012

Seventy pieces of lacquerware, screens, paintings, decorative and ordinary objects will be presented for the first time in France and in Paris at the Cernuschi Museum, illustrating the masterful art of Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891).

This artist’s career bridged two great periods in the history of Japan: the Japan of the Samurais (Edo Period) and the Japan of Modernity (Meiji Period). His paintings and lacquerware bear witness to the artistic, political and social transformations of the late 19th century. A painter who worked for rich merchants, urban residents and temples
under the old government, he was named painter of the Office of the Imperial House under the government of Emperor Meiji.

Drawing from his keen sensitivity, trained in realist painting under the painters of the Maruyama-Shijô Kyoto painting school, and Ukiyo-e style print under the painter Kuniyoshi, he distinguished himself through his ink paintings on silk, creating trompe-l’œil effects, and also invented the style of painting using coloured lacquer on paper. In the field of lacquer art, he developed a unique decorative device, using tone on tone decorative lacquers, lacquers imitating iron or bronze or the extremely refined, delicate texture of rosewood. His pictorial compositions, often extremely concise, evoke the famous, simple and incisive Japanese haiku poems he loved.

His works were presented in Universal Expositions, in Vienna in 1873 and in Paris in 1889, as well as the Japanese National Expositions. They received numerous prizes and were admired and collected by Western art lovers, such as the British Dresser and the German Samuel Bing, creator of Art Nouveau. They played an important role in the development of tastes in the West.

Musée Cernuschi Museum
Map Map
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7, av Vélasquez

75008 Paris

T. 01 53 96 21 50 — F. 01 53 96 21 96.



Opening hours

Every day except Monday, 10 AM – 6 PM

Admission fee

Full rate €9.00 — Concessions €7.00