Nanban Folding Screen Masterpieces
Auteur : Alexandra Curvelo
Between 1543 – when Europeans arrived in Japan – and the 1640s when the country was closed to foreigners, the Japanese had regular contacts with the nanban-jin (Barbarians from the South). These merchants and missionaries, mainly from Portugal, were the source of a theme in Japonese art in the XVIth and XVIIth centuries. The paintings that decorated the nanban byobu (folding screens) depicted an extraordinary confrontation of civilizations and this beauty is captivating. Through paintinf primarily done by the Kano school, the history of Portuguese arrival in Japan unfolds beofre our eyes. Sometimes critical, sometimes joyful and festive, the byobu reveals the beginning of Asia’s Westernization.