Held at Kashima Art! “Banquet Vol.3 The SEITEI” is an exhibition that brings together a variety of masterpieces by the solitary divine painter Seitei Watanabe.

Kashima Arts (Kyobashi, Tokyo) will hold a special exhibition "Utage Vol.3 The SEITEI" from Saturday, April 27th to Sunday, May 12th, 2024, bringing together all the masterpieces of Watanabe Seitei, the solitary Japanese painter who was active from the Meiji to Taisho eras. We will introduce the fascinating charm of Seitei through 24 diverse works, including flower and bird paintings, historical paintings, paintings of beautiful women, Buddhist paintings, landscape paintings, animal paintings, and festival paintings, which are included in Watanabe Seitei's first large-scale art book, "Watanabe Seitei Art Book."

Watanabe Seitei was the first Japanese painter to travel to Paris during the Meiji period, and captivated the people of Western Europe, including Impressionist painters. Despite being recognized by Fenollosa and Okakura Tenshin, in his later years he did not belong to the art world, did not take on any apprentices, and devoted himself to painting as a street painter. As a result, contrary to his exceptional talent and overseas acclaim, his name was buried in the history of modern art. However, in 2021, the University Museum of Tokyo University of the Arts held the first large-scale retrospective exhibition in a Japanese art museum, "Watanabe Seitei – Flower and Bird Paintings that Captivated Europe and America," and Shogakukan published the first large-scale art book that gives a comprehensive look at Seitei's work, "Watanabe Seitei Art Collection." The momentum for reevaluation continues to grow, especially among researchers and enthusiasts of Japanese art both in Japan and abroad.

Since 2017, Kashima Arts has been introducing Seitei's works to people in Japan and abroad in order to play a part in the recent reevaluation of Seitei. This exhibition will display a wide variety of works, centering on 24 masterpieces from the "Watanabe Seitei Art Collection," as well as a wide variety of works painted from the early Meiji to Taisho periods. During the exhibition, there will be a special in-store sale of Seitei-related books, and a talk event organized by the Japan Art Inheritance Association with Yamashita Yuji and Furuta Ryo, who are deeply involved in the reevaluation of Watanabe Seitei. We hope you will look forward to it.

◼️What is Watanabe Seitei?

A Japanese painter active from the Meiji to Taisho eras. At the age of 16, he studied under historical painter Kikuchi Yosai, honing his brushwork and sketching skills. In 1875, he was employed by the arts and crafts export business, Kiritsu Kosho Kaisha, and was the first Japanese painter to study abroad in Paris, where he developed ties with Impressionist painters such as Edgar Degas, who was influenced by Japonism. He pioneered a unique and refined style of work that combined Western chic with the traditional style and realistic expression of Japanese painting, and was active internationally, exhibiting mainly bird-and-flower paintings at the World Exposition and holding a solo exhibition in London. He also designed the cloisonné crafts by Togawa Sosuke, which are displayed in the Bird-and-Flower Room and Small Banquet Room of the Akasaka Palace State Guest House. In his later years, he distanced himself from the central art world and created works to order as a street painter. He is highly regarded overseas, and his works are collected by famous art museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Freer Gallery of Art, and the British Museum.

◼️Highlight 1
You can enjoy a close-up look at approximately 30 gorgeous works, including 24 masterpieces from the "Watanabe Seitei Art Collection"!
Among the works on display are masterpieces such as "Historical Figures Album," which was exhibited at the retrospective "Watanabe Seitei – Flower and Bird Paintings that Captivated the West" at the Tokyo University of the Arts Museum, and is said to be the earliest of Seitei's works still in existence in Japan; "Dragon-Headed Kannon," which is also used on the cover of the art book itself; "Four Seasons of Edo Famous Places," which depicts the four seasons of Ueno with a refined atmosphere; and "Flowers and Birds in Winter" and "Shoki and Carp."

"Famous Edo Places of the Four Seasons"

◼️Highlight 2
We will introduce the charm of Seitei, which goes beyond just flower and bird paintings!
Watanabe Seitei is widely known as a master of delicate and elegant flower and bird paintings, but he also created many genre paintings, festival paintings, seasonal landscapes, animal paintings, and auspicious paintings. You can enjoy a collection of works that are a little different from flower and bird paintings, and are both stylish and emotional.

Cat and Butterfly


◼️Special sale of related books!
At this exhibition, we will be offering a special sale of Watanabe Seitei's first luxurious art book, "Watanabe Seitei Art Book" (edited by Yamashita Yuji and Furuta Ryo).
This art book, which contains more than 150 masterpieces by Seitei, including 24 works exhibited in this exhibition, is a very valuable book that allows you to see the entire career of the artist Watanabe Seitei. If you purchase it at the exhibition venue, shipping will be free nationwide, so please take this opportunity to purchase it. In addition, the official guidebook to "Watanabe Seitei – Flower and Bird Paintings that Captivated the West" held at the University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts in 2021 and Seitei's first critical biography "Critical Biography Watanabe Seitei In the Shadow of the Clear Willows" (written by Akiko Furuta) will also be on sale.

◼️Event <br /> We will hold a talk between Yuji Yamashita and Ryo Furuta, who are deeply involved in the reevaluation of Watanabe Seitei. The two, who know Seitei inside and out, including having supervised the "Watanabe Seitei Art Collection," will explore the appeal of this solitary artist!

Date: Monday, May 6, 2024 (National Holiday)
Time: 15:00~
Speakers: Yuji Yamashita (Professor, Department of Art, Faculty of Letters, Meiji Gakuin University), Ryo Furuta (Professor, University Museum of Tokyo University of the Arts)
Moderator: Yoshiha Minegishi (Chief Curator, Saita Memorial Museum)
Planning: Japan Art Preservation Association

More details about this event will be announced on the Go Nippon Exhibition website and various social media platforms.
Web: https://www.kashima-arts.co.jp/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kashima_Arts
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kashima.arts/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kashima_arts/

◼️"Utage Vol.3 The SEITEI" Event Summary <br /> Title: Utage Vol.3 The SEITEI
Dates: Saturday, April 27, 2024 – Sunday, May 12, 2024 *Open throughout the event Hours: 10:00 – 18:00
Number of pieces: Approximately 30 Place: Kashima Arts (3-3-2 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo)
Admission fee: Free
Web: https://www.kashima-arts.co.jp/exhibitions/utagevol3-theseitei/

Subway Ginza Line "Kyobashi Station" Exit 3 2-minute walk Subway Yurakucho Line "Ginza 1-chome Station" Exit 7 3-minute walk Toei Asakusa Line "Takaracho Station" Exit A4 5-minute walk
9 minutes walk from Yaesu South Exit of JR Tokyo Station

From the press release of Kashima Arts Co., Ltd.

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