The 3rd Seminar held by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems
At the 3rd seminar organized by the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems held on August 25th, YAMANASHI Emiko delivered a presentation titled “Correspondence between Joseph Duveen and YASHIRO Yukio archived in the Getty Research Institute”.
YASHIRO Yukio (1890-1975) played an important role in the establishment of the Institute of Art Research, which is now Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, studied in Europe from 1921 to 1925, and published a book titled Sandro Botticelli (Medici Society, 1925) in English as a result of his study under Bernard Berenson (1865-1959). Berenson was known as a masterful scholar of Renaissance paintings living in the Villa I’Tatti with a large garden near Florence, Italy. It is said that Berenson’s financial success had been based on a contract with Joseph Duveen (British nationality, 1869-1939). Duveen had galleries in New York, Paris and London and helped American millionaires such as Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) and John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) collect classical European paintings. He also founded the Duveen Wing in the Tate Gallery in the U.K.
Yamanashi translated and analyzed the correspondence between Duveen and YASHIRO and found that YASHIRO sent letters to Duveen as a pupil of Berenson before the publication of his book on Botticelli asking for research of paintings in Duveen’s collection after whichYASHIRO sent his opinion on each work. Some letters reveal that Duveen had been interested in Japan in the 1920’s as a market for classical European paintings and expected YASHIRO to mediate. This seminar gave new aspects to the study of YASHIRO as an art historian as well as the history of European painting collections in Japan.