Object of the fortnight - Koson's 'Fishing Boats with Orange Sun'

2nd June 2015 at 14:01

Dani Cleeland continues her exploration into the Peter Scott Gallery collection.

Japanese artwork, like the paintings and drawings of Morton (previous blog), feature highly in LICA's collection. The mix of prints, ink paintings and woodcuts depicts a very different style to that of Morton, but at the same time hinting at his inspiration for his artwork. The impressionists are well known for being highly inspired by Japanese printmakers and it is in the works by Claude Monet that this can be seen the most – the design of his garden was based on that of traditional Japanese ones.

The traditional Japanese style is beautifully simple and this comes across in a lot of the work in the collection. LICA boasts a range of Japanese prints, including one by Katsushika Hokusai – the printmaker of ‘The Great Wave of Kanagawa’. ‘Man standing on the edge of a tub washing Vegetables’ is a work by Kokusai that pretty much speaks for itself.

Colour printmaking began in the 17th century and it originated from one school – 'Ukiyo-e' or 'Pictures of the floating World School' (Hillier, 1991). Japanese art was constrained, unlike the work of artists In the Western world. By the 19th century, the height of the impressionistic movement, oil paint had been created allowing artists to have more artistic freedom due to the malleability of oil paint and its ability to be more gestural. Japanese inspiration and modern art resources allowed for impressionism to form.

LICA’s collection also features work by Utagawa Hiroshige, an artist particularly well known for his ‘Ukiyo-e’ style, and who can be argued to be one of the last great Ukiyo-e printmakers – alongside Hokusai (Chiappa, Unknown). One particular print in the collection features a boat on a lake – ‘Fishing Boats with Orange Sun’ (1890). This is from a series of two prints that both feature in the Live at LICA collection.

Hillier, J, (1991) Japanese Colour Prints. 5th ed. New York: Phaidon Press Limited.
CHIAPPA, J.N. (Unknown) Available from: http://mercury.lcs.mit.edu/~jnc/prints/hiroshige.html (Last accessed: 28/05/15)