Study Meeting of “Art Historian, Yukio YASHIRO: between the West and the East”

A scene from the Study Meeting

 On January 13th, the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems held a study meeting titled “Art Historian, Yukio YASHIRO: between the West and the East” to discuss from various perspectives the roles and achievements in the field of Western art history and Japanese/oriental art history of Yukio YASHIRO who played a key role in establishment of the Institute of Art Research (the predecessor of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo). Art historian Shuji TAKASHINA was invited as a commentator. The study meeting consisted of the following programs: “Viewpoints towards the Western and Eastern art that linked Bernard Berenson to Yukio Yashiro” (Emiko YAMANASHI, Dept. of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems of the Institute), “Sandro Botticelli seen through Oriental Eyes―Yashiro’s 1295 monograph” (Jonathan NELSON, the Harvard University Research Center for Italian Renaissance Studies), “Rereading Yukio Yashiro’s The Annunciation” (Michiaki KOSHIKAWA, Tokyo University of the Arts), “The Emaki (Illustrated Handscroll) Studies by Yukio Yashiro” (Dr.Akira TAKAGISHI, the University of Tokyo) and “Yukio Yashiro and the Chinese Art Studies during 1930 to 1945” (Maromitsu TSUKAMOTO, the University of Tokyo).
 Dr. Nelson indicated that Yashiro had introduced a new method called “style analysis” by use of partial photos of a work into the Western art history through his book “Sandro Botticelli” and the method had come from the plates used in the Japanese art magazines in Meiji Period and their making process. Dr.KOSHIKAWA showed that The Annunciation written by Yashiro as a Western art historian after his return to Japan was a pioneering research in Japan concerning iconography in the Western Christian art, and also that he directly inherited Walter Pater’s aestheticism in this literary work. Dr.TAKAGISHI clarified Yashiro’s position as an Emaki researcher who had taken a great interest as a Japanese art historian in how the unique picture style of Emaki was positioned in the world’s art. Dr.TSUKAMOTO explained the current situation in which different historical perspectives of Chinese art had been established in the West, in Japan, and in China. He further remarked Yashiro’s visit to the International Exhibition of Chinese Art held in London in 1935-1936, which influenced Yashiro’s achievement in establishing the new historical perspective of Chinese art that had mediated the Chinese art boom in the West and the study of Karamono (Chinese articles) in Japan. The presentations were followed by discussion, where participants re-acknowledged the meaning of achievements of Yashiro who actively worked internationally, both in the East and in the West.

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