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Collection Exhibition
Cool and Breezy: Summer Greetings through Paintings and Ceramics
July 26th, Saturday - September 7th, Sunday, 2014
Closed Mondays
Hours 10 am to 5 pm
(entrance closed at 4:30 pm)
General admission Adult 1000 yen, Student 800 yen
Gallery 1

The phrase “sending you cool breezes” is used in the Japanese greeting cards exchanged in the sultry heat of summer. Artworks can also conjure a sense of cool respite. In paintings, figures whose garments flutter in the wind or watch the splashing spray of a waterfall invite the viewer to share their cooling sensations. Similarly, artists used witty shapes and color, such as the blue tones of porcelain with underglaze cobalt designs, to symbolize coolness in decorative arts.
We offer this gallery of close to 30 paintings and ceramics as the Nezu Museum’s summer greetings to its visitors, wishing all a cool and breezy summer.

Gallery Exhibits

Important Cultural Property
Viewing Waterfall
By Geiami, with inscriptions by three priests including Gettō Shūkyō
Japan Muromachi period, dated 1480
Nezu Museum
A waterfall tumbles down the center of the composition, stirring up large waves in the pool below. The two figures depicted in the foreground appear to be visiting the master of the thatched hut seen behind the waterfall. The painter hoped viewers would place themselves in the role of the figures in the painting, enjoying the water-filled scene.
Swallows Flying through Willow Branches
By Tan’an Chiden
Japan Muromachi period, 16th century
Nezu Museum
Two swallows swooping on the breeze give a dancing movement to this painting. The section of a willow tree blowing in the wind further heightens the sense of spatial expanse, as the viewer imagines the gentle breeze blowing from the left.
Round Fan-Shaped Dish with Snow-Covered Fence Design
Hizen ware, porcelain with underglaze cobalt
Japan Edo period, 17th century
Nezu Museum
This rare dish is shaped like a handheld round fan. The blue-white contrast provides a cooling effect, while the snow piled on brushwood fence imagery, namely a winter theme displayed on a dish for summer use, adds a further sense of chill.
Basin with Waterfowl in a Lotus Pond Design
Jingdezhen ware, with the reign mark and period of Kangzi
China Ming dynasty, dated 1521-66
Nezu Museum
This large basin would have been used to hold water. Lotuses are shown on four sides, with the surrounding negative space decorated with waterfowl, water plants and insects. The bright white contrasts vividly with the dark blue designs.