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Wave, Cloud, Pine: Traditional Patterns in Japanese Design

Wave, Cloud, Pine: Traditional Patterns in Japanese Design

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This beautifully illustrated volume presents Japanese paintings, textiles, and traditional crafts which feature three highly significant motifs of Japanese culture: waves, clouds, and pines. One of the most iconic and enduring images from Japanese art is Hokusai’s famous Great Wave, a painting largely credited with inspiring the French artists of the nineteenth century, mainly the impressionists, to see depth and perspective from a unique, perhaps Japanese, viewpoint. The Japanese have many different words for clouds, the use of which depends on the season, the shape of the cloud, or the particular situation. Clouds in Japanese art are often depicted in unique iconography that is in sharp contrast to traditional Western portrayals. In early Japanese society, traditional performing arts, including Noh, were often performed under pine trees. Pine trees are regarded as sacred objects and are still often seen in the backgrounds of Noh theaters today. It is rare for a Japanese artist or photographer to present an aesthetically beautiful landscape without pine trees, as is evident in the many illustrations and photographs in this book. Over 120 works dating from the fifteenth century through the present are featured in Wave, Cloud, Pine.