Japanese Painting and Calligraphy: Highlights from the Collection
August 19–February 12, 2017
Gallery 225, Main Building



Kaihō Yūshō, Japanese, 1533–1615; Landscape, c.1602; pair of six-panel folding screens: ink and gold wash on paper; overall: 69 1/4 in. x 12 ft. 4 1/2 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Friends Fund 59:1962.1, 59:1962.2
Four carefully chosen works of Japanese art, including one of the most significant treasures in the Museum's collection, will be on display in Japanese Painting and Calligraphy: Highlights from the Collection.

These works draw from the museum's collection of more than 2,600 objects of Japanese art spanning three millennia. Different subject matters and styles reflect various religious and secular aspects of Japanese culture and society that flourished on the archipelago from the 14th century to the late 20th century.

The centerpiece for the exhibition is a pair of folding screens by Kaihō Yūshō (1533–1615) that were last exhibited in 2009. The screens feature a landscape painted in ink wash and gold on paper, conveying illusions of the material world.

The hanging scroll, Death of Śākyamuni Buddha by Sakon Sadatsuna, is a superb example of the genre of paintings depicting the historic Buddha entering the perfect state of peace (nirvana). On display for the first time since 2003 will be a section of a 14th-century handscroll, Poetry Contest between Poets of Different Eras as well as Yamamoto Baiitsu's (1783–1856) elegantly festive bird-and-flowers painting Old Pine and Crested Mynas.

Japanese Painting and Calligraphy is curated by Rhiannon Paget, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow for Japanese Art.