Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/64

This page has been validated.

20

JAPANESE COLOUR-PRINTS

The recognition of Japanese art was still further advanced by the Universal Exhibitions of 1873 at Vienna and of 1878 at Paris, which latter had been organised by Wakai, a man with a thorough knowledge of his country's art.

It was not until the middle of the seventies that a museum was founded in Japan itself, at Tokio, for collecting the productions of the ancient art. The first director was Yamataka. When a second museum was founded in the middle of the eighties at Nara, Yamataka exchanged his position for the directorship of Nara, the Tokio Museum being allotted to the former Director-General of Art and Science, who subsequently became Viscount Kuki. And when the year 1895 saw the foundation of a museum in the old imperial city of Kioto, near Nara, Yamataka took over the superintendence of both together.

The most important collections formed in Europe are as follows:[1] Siebold brought home in 1830 his collection of some 800 paintings (kakemonos), which is now preserved at Leyden. Sir Rutherford Alcock exhibited his collection of wood-engravings at the London Exhibition of 1862, and John Leighton delivered an address upon it in the Royal Institution on May 1, 1863; it seems, however, to have consisted principally of works of the nineteenth century. In 1882 Professor Gierke, of Breslau, exhibited his collection of paintings, some 200 pieces, in the Kunstgewerbemuseum at Berlin; this collection was acquired for the Prussian State, which already possessed, in the Berlin Print-Room, a small collection of illustrated works formed by an earlier owner. Professor Gierke was prevented by his death, which took place in the eighties, from taking in hand the history of Japanese painting which he had planned. In the same year (1882) the British Museum acquired, for £3000,[2] a collection

  1. Cf. Madsen, pp. 9–11. Ph. Fr. von Siebold was surgeon to the Dutch Indian army in Japan from 1823–30.
  2. Anderson had had the assistance of Satow, the Japanese secretary of the English embassy at Yedo, in the formation of his collection.