Japan has a long and rich tradition of using animal imagery in works of art.
A Brush with Animals. Japanese Painting 1700-1950 gives an overview of Japanese animal painting, covering some 250 years, with an emphasis on works by artists of the naturalistic Shijô School. It illustrates the wonderful variety of animals that figure in Japanese iconography, including the 12 animals of the zodiac and many mythological creatures. The reader is thus taken on a tour through the animal kingdom, which is profusely illustrated with no less than 300 colour images. A selection of essays explains in great detail the stories and legends behind the animal imagery and provides background information on the practical aspects and social context of Japanese hanging scroll paintings. A useful tool for the collector and a delight for anyone sensitive to the beauty of Japanese art.
A Brush with Animals was selected from collections of members of the Society for Japanese Arts (private and museum collections), to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Society. Many of the paintings are published here for the first time.
Robert Schaap was trained as an industrial designer and later received a British Council Scholarship Award to study graphic design at Hornsey College of Art in London. As a graphic designer he has focused on books relating to Japanese prints for some fifteen years, and over the last twenty-five years he has been collecting Japanese prints and paintings. He is a member of the Board of the Society for Japanese Arts and serves as Editor of the Society’s journal
Andon. Over the years he has written numerous articles and reviews on various aspects of Japanese prints, and has (co)-organized several exhibitions on Japanese prints like
Beauty & Violence. Japanese Prints by Yoshitoshi 1839-1892 and
Heroes & Ghosts. Japanese Prints by Kuniyoshi 1797-1861 and was the main author of their accompanying catalogues. He was co-author of
Crows, Cranes and Camellias. The Natural World of Ohara Koson 1877-1945.
"As a Japanese bestiary, this collection (...) is representative and sensitively presented. As a record of the bond between man and beast, it is moving as well. And as a commemoration of the Japanese animal kingdom, it is splendid." – Donald Richie, in:
The Japan Times
Scholars and collectors of Japanese painting, especially Shijo school painting and interested laymen alike.