Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland, edited by Noboyuki Senzoku


I do like a good art catalogue, especially one like this with paintings reproduced with enough definition to do artistic studies from (hence the oil paint smudges on the cover, sorry about that). And this catalogue of a 1993 exhibition that toured Japan features 80 paintings by the likes of Monet, Degas, Sargent and others who came before and after the 19th Century heyday of realist oil painting.

I’m not sure that many of the paintings in the collection, although by undisputed masters, could accurately be described as their masterpieces. Although they are all pretty good, looking at them made me yearn for more, better works by the artists. Still, it’s an exhibition I’d have loved to have seen in the flesh and this catalogue in Japanese and English makes me want to visit the museums next time I find myself in Edinburgh.

Some of my favourites from the catalogue:

No. 30 of 100 books I intend to read and review in 2019.

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Patrick Sherriff publishes a monthly newsletter highlighting good fiction about Japan and featuring an original painting or sketch. He lives in Abiko, Japan, with his wife and two daughters.