Tonal Painting and <i>Mōrōtai</i>

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Other Title
  • トーナル・ペインティングと朦朧体
  • トーナル・ペインティングと朦朧体 : J. McN.ホイッスラーと横山大観,菱田春草
  • トーナル ・ ペインティング ト モウロウタイ : J. McN.ホイッスラー ト ヨコヤマ タイカン,ヒシダ シュンソウ
  • J. McN. Whistler, Yokoyama Taikan and Hishida Shunso
  • J. McN.ホイッスラーと横山大観,菱田春草

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<p>Using newspaper articles and other historical documents, this paper explores globalism (‘west meets east’ and ‘east meets west’) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and examines similarities between tonal paintings by James McNeill Whistler and the mōrōtai by Yokoyama Taikan and Hishida Shunso that were painted either during their stay in the United States or just after returning to Japan. Whistler’s paintings, which were inspired by Japanese art, were pioneering works of American Tonalism in the last quarter of the 19th century; however, they sparked significant criticism. Taikan and Shunso, following the advice of Okakura Kakuzo, adopted western techniques as they searched for new expressions in Japanese traditional painting. Their works were criticized as mōrōtai. However, as Taikan recalled in his later years, these works were nevertheless received favorably and sold well at their exhibitions in the United States in 1904 and 1905. Similarities between Whistler’s tonal expression and mōrōtai were pointed out at that time, but Whistler’s direct influence on mōrōtai has not yet been sufficiently discussed. This paper addresses this neglected topic and highlights the similarities in the historical backgrounds of tonal expression and mōrōtai.</p>

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