The National Museum of Art of Romania

Pictures of the Floating World – Hashira-e. Japanese Pillar Prints

Curator: Carmen Brad
Kretzulescu Rooms
29 November 2018 – 31 March 2019
Visiting hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00 -18.00
Tickets: 10 lei
Free: every first Wednesday of the month

The exhibition highlights one of the museum’s Japanese art collections so far largely unknown to the wider public. Hashira-e or pillar-prints form a category apart within the broader realm of ukiyo-e. First produced toward the middle of the 18th century hashira-e were highly popular for about ninety years after which they fell into oblivion. Their role was to advertise cultural and social events to a very active middle class which loved to be entertained and as such they give us a vivid chronicle of every-day life in today’s Tokyo, then the Edo capital of Japan.

The selection comprises 45 prints which display some of the most poignant characteristics of this highly unusual genre such as the narrow format, novel composition schemes, daring spatial solutions, as well as prompters aimed at triggering the beholder’s imagination. The subject matter features courtesans from the Yoshiwara district, lovers, beautiful women, good-omen scenes, parodies of classical themes, all of them typical of the ukiyo-e repertoire.

The selection features works by some of the most representative hashira-e artists: Ishikawa Toyonobu (1711-1785), Suzuki Harunobu (1725?-1770), Isoda Koryūsai (1735-1790), Torii Kiyonaga (1752-1815), Kitagawa Utamaro (1754-1806), Hosoda Eishi (1756-1829), Katsukawa Shunchō (active 1780-1801), Kikugawa Eizan (1787-1867). It also includes several prints mounted like kakemono-e, whose format and style are close to those of the pillar-prints on display.

Hashira-e. Japanese Pillar-Prints continues the museum’s exhibition programme with a focus on “Pictures of the Floating World”, one of the most original artistic phenomena to define Japanese urban culture of the Edo period (1615 – 1868). Hopefully the prints now on display will help visitors better understand the ever fascinating and seductive world of Japanese culture.

 

Curator: Carmen Brad
Kretzulescu Rooms
29 November 2018 – 31 March 2019
Visiting hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00 -18.00
Tickets: 10 lei
Free: every first Wednesday of the month