Google Doodle honours Japanese artist Kuroda Seiki

Kuroda Seiki , a Japanese artist, is featured in today's Google Doodle to commemorate what would have been his 156th birthday.

As the father of Western-style paintings in Japan and of Western art philosophy in his lessons, Kuroda was a significant artist.


The painter, who had a significant impact in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is still regarded as one of Japan's best artists.



Seiki Kuroda, who was he?


On August 9, 1866, Kuroda was born in Takamibaba, Satsuma Domain. He was adopted as his uncle's successor at birth and transferred to his estate in Tokyo. He was the son of a samurai of the Shimazu clan.


After enrolling in a legal programme in Paris in 1886 at the age of 18, he met the painters Yamamoto Hosui and Fuji Masazo as well as the art dealer Tadamasa Hayashi, who persuaded him to focus exclusively on painting.


The work "Morning Toilette," which later became the first nude painting to be publicly exhibited in Japan, was created when he was living in Paris and showcases his mastery of Western aesthetics.


Unfortunately, it was destroyed during WWII.


In 1886, he created the Hakuba-kai, commonly known as the White Horse Society, a group of Japanese yoga and painting practitioners, and was invited to teach Western Painting at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts.


He was also President of the Imperial Art Academy and was made a Viscount in 1917. Then, in 1920, Kuroda was elected to Japan's House of Peers, or Kizoku-in, the new aristocratic social class during the Meiji Era.


The legacy of Seiki Kuroda

The Japanese government awarded Kuroda the Order of the Rising Sun after his death, and his painting technique has influenced many painters to this day.


Impressionist and Pleinairist artists continue to be inspired by his work.


The Japanese government has also chosen two of his paintings, Maiko (1893) and Lakeside (1897), as commemorative postage stamps.

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