Our collection includes a number of Japanese paintings and prints. The prints range from early 17th and 18th century Buddhist woodcut prints, through to the popular Ukiyo-e prints of Hiroshige, and the varied printmaking techniques of twentieth century Japan. These include works by Munakata, one of Japan’s most distinguished twentieth century artists.
The collection includes distinctive Surimono prints, which were often produced as just single sheets including an illustration and a poem or story. They were used to send announcements or greetings on a special occasion such as a new year.
Painting highlights include early works such as ‘Painting of a Celebrated Poet’ by Tosa Mitsuoki, and later works in watercolour depicting delicately painted birds, fish and insects. Scrolls paintings, used both as images for contemplation and as an integral part of interior decoration, are also represented in the collection.
These works were collected by the eminent scientist and Honorary Research Fellow at Lancaster University, Professor Irène Manton FRS. The examples of Japanese art in this collection vary in age, style and technique, and reveal Professor Manton’s interests in both the process of printmaking and the beauty of the natural world.