The Portuguese in Japan (Namban Byobū)

Japan

Taisho period (1912-1926), About 1925

The Portuguese first arrived in Japan in 1543 in the southern island of Kyushu. The Japanese found their strange appearance and habits fascinating. Many folding screens were painted of them parading through the towns with their ships in the harbor. There was a short revival of this subject matter in the early 20th century. The long attenuated figures and sweeping curved lines coincided well with the Art Deco style.

  • Titles The Portuguese in Japan (Namban Byobu) (Proper)
  • Artist Japan
  • Medium ink, color, and silver on paper
  • Dimensions 66 × 100 × 3/4 in. (167.6 × 254 × 1.9 cm) each outer panel: 66 × 25 1/4 in. (167.6 × 64.1 cm) each inner panel: 66 × 24 1/2 in. (167.6 × 62.2 cm)
  • Credit Line Collection of the Art Fund, Inc. at the Birmingham Museum of Art; Gift of Allen and Ellen Langford, AFI.82.2014
  • Work Type folding screen
  • Classification Furniture