Amsterdam / Japanese print collection

Amsterdam Nihon no hanga The Male ImageAutumn Exhibition 2011 Nihon no hanga, Amsterdam

Nihon no hanga – Japanese Print Collection

Keizersgracht 586, 1017 EN Amsterdam, The Netherlands

phone: +   31-(0)20-3307456


website :

The Male Image – 20th Century Japanese Portraiture

This exhibition can be visited during all weekends in November 2011, Friday through Sunday (4-5-6, 11-12-13, 18-19-20, 25-26-27), from 12:00-16:00 hours.

(You do not need to make an appointment during these weekends.)

By Elise Wessels, Director Nihon no hanga

In the history of Japanese printmaking portrayals of men were usually limited to the depiction of actors from the Kabuki stage, sumo wrestlers and heroes from a distant past or folktales.

Men from daily life or politics were not considered legitimate subjects for portraiture in printed form. With the exception of Kabuki actors, there were seldom true portraits.

During the late 19th century, under the influence of western art a gradual shift became evident. Most notably portraits of Emperor Meiji and his wife were regularly produced since the beginning of his reign in 1868.

During the Edo Period (1602-1868) the censorship laws would have excluded the depiction of anyone involved in politics so this marked a significant change.

In the 20th century the portrait, under the influence of trends in western style painting, became an accepted format although pictures of men remained a marginal subject, especially compared to the numerous images of women.

However, male portraiture from this period shows a variety of contemporary prominent men, from self-portraits to prints of fellow artists, friends or patrons.

This autumn Nihon no hanga will dedicate an exhibition works by artists such as Sekino Junichiro, Natori Shunsen and Yamamura Koka.

Guided tours:
On 4, 11, 18 and 25 November (Friday) there will be a free guided tour in Dutch of the exhibition by Maureen de Vries, curatorial assistant to the museum, at 14:00 hours (Please note: limited places, reservations can be made through e-mail. On request English tours are available for groups of 5 and more).


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