A study of Field in Grez by KURODA Seiki

Field in Grez by KURODA Seiki

 The Institute of Art Research opened in 1930 with an endowment bequeathed by Western-style painter KURODA Seiki and later became the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. To inherit Kuroda’s will, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo has placed stress on the study of Japanese modern art. Field in Grez (canvas, oil, 29.2×51.4 cm) by KURODA Seiki was donated to the Kuroda Memorial Hall upon the condition that it be exhibited there. On May 6, TANAKA Atsushi, SHIOYA Jun, SHIRONO Seiji, and YAMANASHI Emiko of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems studied and photographed the work. The work depicts a rural landscape with 2 piles of straw in a vast grass field and a red flower in grass in the foreground. The signature,“S.K.”, is at the bottom right. The year the work was painted is not written, but the imagery and style indicates the work was done in Grez-sur-Loing while KURODA was studying in France. It is thought to date to around 1890, when KURODA sought to have his work entered in the Salon. The piles of straw evoke an association with Jean-François Millet, whom KURODA admired. The work has been passed down by the family of NOMURA Yasushi (1842–1909), who served as ambassador to France from 1891 to 1893 and supported KURODA’s painting in France. The work sheds light on NOMURA’s friendship with the painter. Plans are to publish the study’s results and exhibit the work in the Kuroda Memorial Hall.

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