Specially in the Japanese woodcut-art nightscenes are beautifully suggested full of evening-mood and poetry.

The full moon was and is a fascination in Japanese culture. During full moon literary people come together in one of their cottages somewhere in the mountains and gaze at the bright shining moon. Tradition has it that they compose together short or long poems about their feelings while looking towards the moon.

The 'moon-gazing' is not onely some kind of romantic idea but symbolizes a profound spiritual condition. In these prints as in their poems they express the conciousness of eternal life and beauty:"everything flows and disappears but the moon will always be"!

"Very brief:   Gleam of blossems in the treetops   on a moonlit night",

Haiku composed by Matsuo Basho.

Although in most of the traditional woodcuts the artists didn't use strong shades as in western art, they captured the mysterious stillness of the night in their scenes wonderfully adequate. While looking to these prints one immediately comes into a meditative mood and one can almost hear the rain fall on the straw umbrellas....

The subtle reflections of moonlight and lantarns in the water always takes my breath away and brings me in a reflective mood....I get everytime inspired by these splendid works of Art!

This is one of my nocturnes in which I express my reflective mood looking at a pool of water after a heavy shower. It is painted with oilpaint on canavas.

To be continued...


Esther Weatherill

30 augustus 2018

How interesting and inspiring, Maarten! I love these Japanese paintings. Which centuries do they cover? Really enjoying your blog. Esther

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