Rare prints of Japan for Rijksmuseum

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The Rijksmuseum has received thirteen rare Japanese prints from the 19th century on loan. It involves design drawings for paintwork, including for a panel that has already been in the collection of the Rijksmuseum since 1891.Among the design drawings from the period 1800-1820 is a special image of the island of Deshima. This island was a Dutch trading post from 1641 to 1859 , and the only point of contact between the western world and the closed off Japan.

Markus Wurfel
Wikimedia commons

It is an absolute first to have the design for an existing piece from the collection, according to East Asian Art curator Menno Fitski. The drawing of Deshima is also a historically important document. Everything is shown in detail, up the bamboo waterworks that provided the island with fresh water from the shore.

The rare drawings surfaced at an auction in Kyoto. The Association of Friends of Asian Art purchased them and was kind enough to lend them to the Rijksmuseum.