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Japan: Art and Inspiration exhibition Saturday 30th March – Sunday 9th June 2019

March 30 @ 10:00 am - June 9 @ 4:00 pm


Japan – Art and Inspiration

Dates: Saturday 30 March – Sunday 9 June 2019
Gallery: Gallery Two (First Floor)

With original works, prints, textiles and objects discover the stunning beauty and intricacy of the art of Japan. This includes the following exhibits;

Hiroshige’s Japan: Views of Mount Fuji Exhibition organised by the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Mount Fuji, an active volcano and the highest mountain in Japan, has long been praised by poets and depicted by artists for its beautiful shape and sacred status.

The great Japanese landscape print designer Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858) created numerous views of Mount Fuji over his career, depicting the sacred mountain from a variety of viewpoints in different seasons and weather conditions. This exhibition presents a selection of these beautiful views of the mountain from several different Hiroshige series.

As early as the seventh century Mount Fuji was being worshipped by wandering ascetic monks who climbed the mountain as a form of worship. Believed to be home to both Shinto and Buddhist deities, Fuji was thought to protect Edo and to ensure the prosperity of the whole country.

The subject of Mount Fuji shown in different seasons and weathers had been made popular in the 1830’s by the Japanese artist Hokusai. While undoubtedly inspired by Hokusai’s work, Hiroshige’s later prints on the subject were not derivative. His landscapes were often gentler in mood, placing a greater emphasis on atmospheric conditions. Hiroshige’s unusual compositional skills were also a feature of his prints, in particular his fondness for balancing foreground elements with landscape backgrounds.

Mount Fuji is located just 90 km from Japan’s capital Tokyo (formerly Edo) and on a clear day can also be seen from several points in the city. Hiroshige depicts the mountain looming ever present in the distance over Edo’s Suruga Street, famous for this fine view. Another print shows Mount Fuji as seen from Asuka Hill, a cherry blossom-viewing destination in the Spring, which is still a popular today.

Travellers along the Tokaido Road, the famous highway that linked Edo with the ancient capital of Kyoto, were granted beautiful views of Mount Fuji along many parts of the route. At the station of Numazu, Hiroshige depicts Mount Fuji looming large over the rice fields and travellers on the road. Mount Fuji also provides a majestic backdrop to Hiroshige’s atmospheric image of travellers crossing the bridge in the village of Mishima on a cold, snowy day.

East Asian Collections in Dumfries and Galloway

Objects revealed from Dumfries Museum alongside Japanese prints on loan from National Museums Scotland. Organised in partnership with National Museums Scotland. Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. #EgyptAsiaScotland

This exhibition also highlights the influence of Japanese art on Kirkcudbright artists through works by E.A. Hornel and George Henry.

Admission: Free

Please note there will be reduced light levels for this exhibition. This is due to the required light levels for the artworks.

© Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford



March 30 @ 10:00 am
June 9 @ 4:00 pm
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National Museums Scotland


Kirkcudbright Galleries
St Mary Street
Kirkcudbright,Dumfries and GallowayDG5 4AQUnited Kingdom
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01557 331276