Study and photography of Yokoyama Taikan’s Yamaji [the Mountain Path] (Eisei Bunko collection) after its restoration

Study and photography of Yokoyama Taikan’s Yamaji (Eisei Bunko collection)

 As previous reports have occasionally mentioned, joint research on Yokoyama Taikan’s Yamaji [the Mountain Path] with Eisei Bunko Museum has taken place as part of a Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems research project entitled Documentary Research on Cultural Properties. Taikan’s Yamaji in Eisei Bunko’s collection was exhibited at the 5th Bunten Art Exhibition (sponsored by the Ministry of Education) in 1911 and is an important work that inaugurated new forms of expression in Japanese painting with its vivid strokes. Upon completion of the piece’s restoration this spring, high-resolution images of the piece were taken on May 12th at the Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art, where the piece is held, by Seiji SHIRONO (National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo), and the piece was studied by Hidekazu MIYAKE (Eisei Bunko Museum), Ryuta HAYASHIDA (Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art), Ayako OGAWA, and Jun SHIOYA (also of the Institute).
 Yamaji features extensive use of coarse paints made from mineral pigments, though this was not readily apparent in conventional images. The images taken during this study adeptly convey the nuances of the piece’s texture. In conjunction with the results of X-ray fluorescence analysis performed in the fall of 2010, high-resolution images should help distinguish the pigments used in the piece. Plans are to summarize these results in one volume and report them this year by means of a conference in August of this year.

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