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Refined Tastes: The Literati of China & Japan

March 8, 2002 - March 8, 2002

Join us for an exploration of the history, relationship, similarities and differences between the Chinese literati class and their Japanese counterparts. The Chinese literati were educated amateur artists who, although they were usually government officials by occupation, sought refuge from their day jobs through cultured hobbies like painting, calligraphy, poetry and music. From the 12th to the early 20th century, acquiring beautiful artifacts from antiquity became a way of life for this group whose paintings were universally admired for their simple and elegant brushstrokes. The 18th and 19th century Japanese artists who created literati paintings took their inspiration from the scholar-painters of China but, in typical Japanese fashion, transmuted what they had learned from Chinese painting into a new and distinctive form of art. Refined Tastes will include Chinese and Japanese literati paintings and calligraphy as well as the examples of decorative arts which might be found in their home.

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