Takeuchi Seiho (1864–1942) focused on sketching from life, rendering nihonga (Japanese-style paintings) of such extraordinary power that he was said to “breathe life into all things.” In his thirties he traveled to Europe in search of new forms of expression, while in his middle to late years he trained many new artists even as he himself remained active at the forefront of his field. How, over this career, did he work to destroy old norms and create new horizons for nihonga? This collection answers that question through a look back at some 130 major paintings from his early to mature years—including Posing for the First Time (Important Cultural Property)—supplemented by numerous studies, sketches, copies of old artworks, and other materials as well as helpful and informative text.
Chapter 1. Seiho Makes His Debut: A Prodigy of the Kyoto Art World
Chapter 2. Out into the Wider World: In Pursuit of Art Not Yet Seen
Chapter 3. Nihonga Should Be Once Destroyed: Toward a New Age
Chapter 4. Dynamic Paintings from Life
Chapter 5. Seiho’s Travels: In Search of the Landscapes of the Heart
Chapter 6. In Praise of Animals
Essays by Hirano Shigemitsu (art historian), Hirota Takashi (professor emeritus, Kyoto Women’s University), Mori Mitsuhiko (curator, Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art), and Goto Yumiko (curator, Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art)