Jakuchu, a treasure from Japan at Petit Palais

Itō Jakuchū, White phoenix and old pine, 1765-1766, Tōkyō, Museum of Imperial collections, (San- nomaru Shōzōkan), Agence de la Maison impériale

When you walk into the large room of the ground floor of Petit  Palais which is lined with thirty huge silk fabric rolls, you are hit by a very special emotion. Painted at the end of the 18 th century by Ito Jakuchu, they are part of the Imperial collection of Sannomaru Shozokan and have only once travelled outside Japan,  to the National Art Gallery in Washington in 2012. They are presented in Paris for one month only, to celebrate the 160 th anniversary of Japanese French diplomatic relations. Do not miss this show.

Itō Jakuchū, Fish and octopus, 1765-1766, Tōkyō, Museum of Imperial collections, (Sannomaru Shōzōkan), Agence de la Maison impériale

The future Emperor of Japan, Naruhito, 58,  was visiting President Macron in Versailles where some Nô theatre was performed in the castle, after going to Santenay in Burgundy to taste some wines.  On Thursday, he visited the Petit Palais where he spent most of the afternoon inaugurating this exceptional exhibition with Christophe Leribault.  With this unique show, Leribault is comforting his reputation of being the most daring and talented museum director in Paris at the moment.

Itō Jakuchū, Roses and birds, 1761-1765, Tōkyō, Museum of Imperial collections  (San- nomaru Shōzōkan), Agence de la Maison impériale

The name of the collection is Doshokusai-e (The colored kingdom of living creatures) and it was painted between 1757 and 1766 and later given to the buddhist monastery of Shokoku-ji in Kyoto by the painter himself. Jakuchu was born in a wealthy family where he was running the business of wholesale vegetable. But he had been a painter since he was 10 years old and decided to exerce his art full time when he turned 40. He died at 85.

Itō Jakuchū, Coqs, 1761-1765, Tōkyō, Museum of Imperial collections (Sannomaru Shōzōkan), Agence de la Maison impériale

The scenography of thirty large window cases along both walls of the room give it a very zen atmosphere and the discreetly lit fabrics are a magnet to the eye. The details of each fish, flower, fruit or one of the numerous roosters are unique. This visit is a very special artistic experience

There are conferences organized every Wednesday at 12.30. Petit Palais until October 14.

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3 Comments on “Jakuchu, a treasure from Japan at Petit Palais”

  1. Kat Hastie

    Laure, these images are magic! Will be in Tokyo soon – probably before these are returned, however. Thanks for bringing wonders to my door!!

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