19th Century Japanese Landscapes from Worcester Art Museum

Here is a series of 18th century prints by the Japanese artist called Katsushika Hokusai(1760-1849). I saw them recently as a new display at the permanent collection of the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts. Chinese and Japanese landscape is worthy of study even by those interested in painting landscape in the Western tradition. The composition is consistent with the Christian view that nature is beautiful and hierarchical and points to something greater beyond itself, with man at the pinnacle of the natural world, whether he is a subject within the painting, or the observer seeing nature through the eyes of the artist. This is a series of prints called A Tour of Waterfalls in the Provinces made in 1833. This is a new display at the Worcester Art Museum and it has been very nicely handled, so that the series appears as a body of work, with each print angled upwards so that it is easily visible and reducing glare of the protective glass.

Worcester Art Museum is one of a number of small museums based upon the private collection of wealthy industrialist, now available to the public. It is small enough that one can easily see all on display in its three floors of galleries in a morning and good enough that one wants to. it also saves the parking and travelling difficulties of trying to get to galleries in the centre of large cities. We will feature more works from this gallery in a number of upcoming posts.