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The Flowering of Edo Period Painting

Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting


It is our great pleasure to present works from the collection of Robert and Betsy Feinberg, well known as discerning collectors of Japanese art.

The Feinbergs first came in contact with Japanese art in the 1970s at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For more than forty years, they have studied Japanese art and collected fine paintings while fostering ties with prominent figures in the art world in both Japan and the United States.

Paintings from the Edo Period (1600–1868) make up the core of the Feinberg collection. With the social stability that spread throughout Japan in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, commoners became wealthy and began to enjoy and support culture. In response, new schools of painters arose to cater to their demands, thereby distinguishing themselves from artists who worked for the shogunate or for feudal lords on commission. These new artists produced paintings freed from the restraints of prior centuries, portraying the beauties of nature and the lives of the people around them. The 250 years of the Edo period saw the finest flowering of this esthetic movement. This exhibition presents outstanding Edo period works in five genres: Rinpa school, literati school (bunjinga) painting, Maruyama-Shijō school, the Eccentrics, and ukiyo-e painting.