Kachōfūgetsu - the natural world in Japanese prints

This exhibition explores the illustration of the natural world in Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and books selected from the Fitzwilliam Museum’s collection. Birds, insects, fishes, shells and flowers appear in a miscellany of guises. The centrepiece is the trio of books designed by Kitagawa Utamaro (c.1756-1806) on natural themes, known popularly as the ‘Insect Book’, ‘Shell Book’; and ‘Bird Book’. These are generally considered among the masterpieces of book design and printing, and visitors will be able to explore them more fully in a special virtual display. This is also the first chance to see Hokusai’s print, Convolvulus and Tree-frog, recently acquired by the Fitzwilliam with the help of the Art Fund and the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund.

To complement this exhibition there will be a display in the table cases in the Dutch Gallery (15) of seventeenth-century painted and printed studies of shells and insects by Rembrandt, Hollar and van Kessel.

Tue 17 February 2009 to Sun 17 May 2009
Shiba Gallery (Gallery 14)

Related Links

View Utamaro Books Interactive (requires flash player)

The Fitzwilliam Museum : Exhibitions & Displays

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