Japanese Painting: Calligraphy and Image

Pavilion for Japanese Art
September 13, 2007–February 19, 2008

In traditional Chinese aesthetics, scholars considered poetry to be the highest form of communication, followed by calligraphy, which revealed the character of the writer, then by painting, a pictorial branch of calligraphy also meant to elucidate poetic imagery and reveal the painter's individual nature. This group of paintings and calligraphies features three main groups of Japanese artists for whom calligraphy became a central means of expression: Zen and other Buddhist monks, literati, who modeled themselves after the educated Chinese elite, and aristocrats of the imperial line, who bore the responsibility for maintaining authentic Japanese artistic principles.

Curator: Hollis Goodall, Japanese Art. This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Images: Kitamuki Unchiku, Dragon and Tiger, Japan, 17th century, pair of hanging scrolls; ink on paper, each mount: 79 3/8 x 20 3/4 in., Gift of Max and Eleanor Baril through the 1990 Collectors Committee.