Studies in the History of Art, Volume 80: The Artist in Edo

About the Author

Yukio Lippit is professor of history of art and architecture and Johnson-Kulukundis Family Director of the Arts at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.

Studies in the History of Art, Volume 80: The Artist in Edo

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Edited by Yukio Lippit with contributions from Louise Allison Cort, Tamamushi Satoko, Emura Tomoko, Kōno Motoaki, Timon Screech, Kishi Fumikazi, Julie Nelson Davis, Satō Yasuhiro, Matthew P. McKelway, Chelsea Foxwell, and Timothy Clark

A historic first showing outside Japan of Itō Jakuchū's thirty-scroll series Colorful Realm of Living Beings (c. 1757–1766) at the National Gallery of Art was the occasion for this collection of twelve essays that reimagine the concepts of the artist and art-making as they were understood in early modern Japan. During the Edo period (1600–1868), peace and economic stability under the Tokugawa shogunate allowed both elite and popular arts and culture to flourish in Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. The essays consider a wide range of art forms—screen paintings, scrolls, prints, illustrated books, calligraphy, ceramics, textiles—giving extended attention to Jakuchū's spectacular series as well as to works by a range of contemporary artists such as Ogata Kōrin, Nagasawa Rosetsu, Hon’ami Kōetsu, Tawaraya Sōtatsu, Katsushika Hokusai, and others.


Selected contributions address issues of professional roles, including copying and imitation, display and memorialization, and makers’ identities. Some explore the new form of painting, ukiyo-e, in the context of the urban society that provided its subject matter and audiences; others discuss the spectrum of amateur and professional Edo pottery and interrelationships between painting and other media. Together, they reveal the fluidity and dynamism of artists’ identities during a time of great significance in the country’s history.


Published by the National Gallery of Art, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA).

  • Hardcover
  • 9 x 11 inches
  • 304 pages, 204 color and 40 b+w illustrations
  • Published: 2018

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