Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012. First edition. Hardcover. 223pp. Quarto [28.6cm]. Red-orange cloth over boards. Corners are ever so slightly rubbed and there is a very slight lean to the spine. In an illustrated dust jacket, rubbed at extremities. Very good + / Very good +. Item #60530
From Publisher: Created over the span of some ten years (c. 1757-1766) It Jakuch 's thirty-scroll Colorful Realm of Living Beings (J. D shoku sai-e) is acknowledged as one of the greatest achievements in the history of Japanese Nature painting. A wealthy wholesaler and talented painter, Jakuch is the most recognized artist of Japan's pre modern era and Colorful Realm is his masterpiece. Synthesizing numerous East Asian traditions of bird-and-flower painting, Colorful Realm is dynamic and comprehensive, yet meditated and distilled. Flora and fauna are depicted in wondrously meticulous detail, but in such a way as to transcend surface appearances and capture the otherwise ineffable, vital essence of the cosmos, the Buddha nature itself. The scrolls are here reunited with their centerpiece – Jakuch 's triptych of the Buddha kyamuni from the Zen monastery Sh kokuji in Kyoto – for only the second time in over one hundred years. Recent conservation of Colorful Realm has generated an entirely new awareness of the materials and techniques Jakuch used. Drawing upon these findings as well as the most recent research on Jakuch 's life and cultural movement, this volume offers a multifaceted understanding of the artist's virtuosity and experimentalism as a painter – one who not only applied sophisticated chromatic effects but also masterfully rendered the richly symbolic world in which he moved. This sumptuously illustrated catalog accompanies an extraordinary exhibition at the National Gallery of Art that marks both the centennial of Japan's abundant gift of cherry trees to Washington, DC, and the first time this renowned cultural treasure – generously lent by the Imperial Household Agency – has been displayed in its entirety outside of Japan.