One of Japan’s most celebrated cultural treasures, “Colorful Realm: Japanese Bird-and-Flower Paintings” by It Jakuch (1716-1800) is on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., through April 29. The 30-scroll set of bird-and-flower paintings, painted more than 250 years ago, are shown together for the first time outside of Japan, having been lent to the National Gallery of Art by the Imperial Household.
Earl A. Powell III, director of the National Gallery of Art said,
This is the centennial celebration of Japan’s gift to Washington, D.C., of 3,000 cherry blossom trees.
I was in Washington, D.C. for Arts Advocacy Day, an event sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts at the White House. I landed just after the space shuttle Discovery flew over the Mall. It was a poignant experience, as I had been commissioned by NASA (one of my four NASA commissions) to paint the Discovery shuttle return to flight after the Columbia tragedy, and my painting of the Discovery shuttle is also on exhibit in Washington, D.C.
When I landed in D.C., I went straight to the National Gallery of Art, where I was fortunate to see this exhibit. The renderings on silk are breathtaking. There is a wonderful simplicity in the design and details.
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