The Momoyama Period : A Turning Point Between The Middle Ages

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The Momoyama period was a turning point between the Middle Ages in Japan. This period began by the overthrow of the Ashikaga Shogunate who was the ruler during the Muromachi period, in the late 15th century. During the Muromachi period, Japan was experiencing violent conflicts over territory and power. In 1573 Oda Nobunaga became the ruler and with him was the birth of the short-lived Momoyama period; only three warlords seized power during that time . Even though, the Momoyama was a brief period between two major eras, it had a lot of impacts on art and architecture. One of the greatest painters of this period was Kano Eitoku. He was described as “the most celebrated painter of his time” . His grandfather Kano Motonobu at the Kano school of painting trained him. The Kano school has a strong influence on Japanese history, as it was the longest-lived; 300-years of significance in the world history of art. With Eitoku’s fame across the nation as a Japanese artist, he developed a certain style known as taiga or “big paintings” . He received various commissions to decorate the Momoyama warlord castles. One of his most astonishing artwork, “Chinese Lions” was commissioned by Toyotomi Hideyoshi . Late 1580’s a six-panel life-sized screen painted with oversized Chinese mythical lions that were set against glinting gold foil, refer to (Figure 1). As well as incorporating color and bold black outline, that was a feature of the Kano school4. The two ancient Chinese mythological…

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