Art & Design

Book launch - Painting Nature for the Nation

5 March 2013, London

Painting Nature for the Nation

Published by BRILL


In Painting Nature for the Nation: Taki Katei and the Transformation of Sinophile Culture in Meiji Japan, Rosina Buckland offers an account of the painter Taki Katei (1830–1901). Despite becoming one of the most successful painters of his generation, a founding member of the prominent Japan Art Association and recipient of the title Imperial Household Artist, Katei has been relatively neglected, due to political and art historical biases of the post-WW2 era. Drawing on a large body of previously unpublished paintings, collaborative works and book illustrations, Buckland traces how, during the Meiji era, Katei transformed his art and practice based on modes derived from China in order to fulfil the needs of the modern nation-state at large-scale exhibitions and the imperial court. She provides a rare examination of the vibrant world of Chinese-inspired culture during the 1880s, and the hostility which it faced in the following decade. An examination of Katei’s career also illustrates the emergence of the imperial institution and the government as significant patrons in the art world, and the use of nature imagery as a nationalist vocabulary on the domestic and international stages.


The book will be available for purchase on the day.


Dr Rosina Buckland is a Senior Curator (Dept. of World Cultures) at the National Museum of Scotland, where she curates the Japanese collections. She read Japanese Studies at the University of Cambridge, and obtained her doctorate in Japanese art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University in 2008. She worked at the British Museum both before and after her PhD, documenting and researching the collection of Japanese paintings. Her main research interest is Japanese visual culture of the 19th century, particularly the world of Sinophile interests among artists, poets, and scholars. Her current project is an exhibition drawing on the National Museum’s Japanese print collection, with accompanying catalogue. She is also involved with the collaborative project at the British Museum and SOAS, University of London (the School of Oriental and African Studies) Shunga: Sex and Humour in Japanese Art, 1600–1900, and has published Shunga: Erotic Art in Japan (British Museum Press, 2010).


This event is free but booking is essential. Places can be booked at:

5 March 2013, 6:00pm
Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle, London NW1 4QP

Tel:020 7486 4348

The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation