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Nationally naked? The female nude in japanese oil painting and posters (1890s-1920s)

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Chapter Summary

Concentrating on Japanese oil paintings and posters, this chapter pursues under what circumstances pictorial presentations of Japanese bodies looked Japanese, and what invited viewers to ?read? them as particularly Japanese. The genre of nude painting can be discussed not only in relation to posters but also to modern graphic art, to photographs and to sculpture. The author?s choice of posters is underpinned by three facts. First, in modern Japan, paintings and posters were astonishingly close. Until the time of the Akadama Port Wine Poster, the task of advertizing was assigned to well-crafted, costly lithographs which were often framed and hung like paintings. Second, both western-style paintings and posters functioned as media of exposure and disclosure, visualizing gender as well as nationality. This again was, third, tied to attempts at inciting cultural as well as commercial desires and, by means of that, to the promotion of ?Japaneseness? for a domestic audience.

Keywords: gender; Japanese oil paintings; Japanese posters; nationality; nude painting; western-style paintings



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