The cherry blossoms through art 芸術で楽しむお花見
Ukiyo-e by Toyohara Chikanobu, 1894
Credit: By Toyohara Chikanobu — http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/1302650, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44842455
Impressionistic painting by Reiji Hiramatsu, 2012
Credit: Yugawara Art Museum
Ink drawing shows branch with leaves and cherry blossoms.
Credit: Sakura Cherry. Japan, .  Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2009630236/.
Representation of cherry blossoms on textile.
Credit: © Kenichi Okubo
Credit: © Allociné - https://www.allocine.fr/film/fichefilm-235589/photos/detail/?cmediafile=1000001087
Hanami on canvas: the most beautiful works through centuries
With the arrival of spring, the streets, gardens and mountains of Japan welcome the cherry blossoms and the whole archipelago is covered in pink for a few days, a few weeks. The ephemeral beauty of these flowers and their blossoming have been immortalized by Japanese artists for centuries and continue to inspire people around the world today.
Discover cherry blossoms from a unique angle: works on canvas, cinema, photography… appreciate the arrival of spring in all its forms.
Sakura in ukiyo-e
The representation of cherry blossoms is widely found in Japanese printmaking. The term "ukiyo-e", meaning "image of the floating world", refers to the impermanence of things. The blossoming of cherry trees, a magical moment that lasts only for a short amount of time, is one of the favorite subjects of the great Japanese masters, including Hiroshige, who has dedicated many works to it.
Ukiyo-e d'Utagawa Hiroshige, 1835
Credit: Utagawa Hiroshige, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, National Park Service
Ukiyo-e by Utagawa Hiroshige, 1831
Credit: Public Domain, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Cherry trees at Yoshiwara
Credit: Andō, Hiroshige, Artist. Yoshiwara Sakura No Zu. Japan, None. [Between 1844 and 1848] Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2009615481/.
Ukiyo-e diptych showing richly-dressed man, two children, and two women in a richly-appointed interior.
Credit: Toyohara, Kunichika, Artist. Hanami No En. Japan, 1862. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2002700040/.
Ukiyo-e by Kunisada, 1852
Credit: By Utagawa Kunisada - http://www.answers.com/Q/What_does_Japanese_word_sakura_mean, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2578890
Ukiyo-e by Kikugawa Eizan, 1814-17
Credit: Public domain, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Hasedera temple in the Yamato Province, Utagawa Hiroshige, 1859
Credit: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
- Find out more about ukiyo-e
Admire the cherry trees in painting...
Hanami is also admired in other forms. Both in scroll painting, ink illustration and many other media... discover our selection of sakura on canvas!
Cherry Blossom Viewing, Scroll Painting by Kitagawa Utamaro, 1793
Credit: Cherry Blossoms at Yoshiwara, c. 1793, Ink, gouache, gold and gold-leaf on bamboo paper, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Handscroll painting painted by Anonymous, formerly attributed to Mitsunobu Tosa. Ink and colour on paper.
Painting on Kakemono (Hanging scroll)
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, painted by Kiyohara Yukinobu, in the late 17th century
Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, Public Domain
Hanging scroll painting, painted by Sumiyoshi Hirotsura, Edo Period
Credit: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0), https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
Painting on Folding screen
... in photography...
Photography allows us to capture this ephemeral moment that announces the arrival of spring. Professionals or amateurs, we are all looking for the most beautiful picture that will immortalize this magical moment, like out of time.
Cherry Blossoms under the Tokyo Sky Tree.
Credit: Photo by Susann Schuster on Unsplash
Mt Fuji and cherry blossoms seen from Kawaguchiko
Cherry blossoms in Tokyo
Rikugien under the sakura
... in textile...
The beauty of cherry blossoms can not only be seen, but also worn. Textile art is very important in Japan and these traditional clothes, as sumptuous as they are, are still worn today on special occasions such as the Seijin Shiki, the coming of age ceremony.
Discover with us sumptuous kimonos decorated with these bright spring colors! And maybe you will be tempted by a fitting session during your next trip to Japan?
- Read more: Wafuku, the Japanese dressing room
Truly celebrated in all forms, discover below the Hanami in song! This traditional music, below, comes from the Edo period (1603-1868) and has crossed the ages to pass on us this unshakeable love that the Japanese have for their dear cherry blossoms.
...in movies and books...
Discover or rediscover Sweet Bean, on paper, by reading Durian Sukegawa's novel or in its film adaptation, directed by Naomi Kawase and critically acclaimed internationally.
... in digital art...
Discover the participative work: "Sakura Bombing Home" created by teamLab, a group of multi-disciplinary artists founded in Tokyo in 2001.
From March 10 to April 30, teamLab offers us the opportunity to take part in an interactive project open to artists, beginners and experienced, from around the world. So grab your pencils or your smartphone and draw your Sakura!
... and let's end in poetry!
This natural and ephemeral phenomenon of Hanami is also a source of inspiration for poets. The theme of cherry trees and their blossoming can be found in the haïku of the greatest masters. Here is an example:
- 我病んで桜に思ふ事多し -
In my illness
Cherry blossoms fill me
Masaoka Shiki, 1898 | 正岡子規 明治31年
From: Cherry Blossom Epiphany: The Poetry and Philosophy of a Flowering Tree, de Robin D.Gill.