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Challenging Past and Present: The Metamorphosis of Nineteenth-Century Japanese Art

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The complex and coherent development of Japanese art during thecourse of the nineteenth century was inadvertently disrupted by apolitical event: the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Scholars of both thepreceding Edo (1615-1868) and the succeeding Meiji (1868-1912) erashave shunned the decades bordering this arbitrary divide, thus creatingan art-historical void that the former vi The complex and coherent development of Japanese art during thecourse of the nineteenth century was inadvertently disrupted by apolitical event: the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Scholars of both thepreceding Edo (1615-1868) and the succeeding Meiji (1868-1912) erashave shunned the decades bordering this arbitrary divide, thus creatingan art-historical void that the former view as a period of waningtechnical and creative inventiveness and the latter as one threatenedby Meiji reforms and indiscriminate westernization and modernization.Challenging Past and Present, to the contrary, demonstrates that theperiod 1840-1890, as seen progressively rather than retrospectively, experienced a dramatic transformation in the visual arts, which in turnmade possible the creative achievements of the twentieth century


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The complex and coherent development of Japanese art during thecourse of the nineteenth century was inadvertently disrupted by apolitical event: the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Scholars of both thepreceding Edo (1615-1868) and the succeeding Meiji (1868-1912) erashave shunned the decades bordering this arbitrary divide, thus creatingan art-historical void that the former vi The complex and coherent development of Japanese art during thecourse of the nineteenth century was inadvertently disrupted by apolitical event: the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Scholars of both thepreceding Edo (1615-1868) and the succeeding Meiji (1868-1912) erashave shunned the decades bordering this arbitrary divide, thus creatingan art-historical void that the former view as a period of waningtechnical and creative inventiveness and the latter as one threatenedby Meiji reforms and indiscriminate westernization and modernization.Challenging Past and Present, to the contrary, demonstrates that theperiod 1840-1890, as seen progressively rather than retrospectively, experienced a dramatic transformation in the visual arts, which in turnmade possible the creative achievements of the twentieth century

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