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C.B. Liddell

For C.B. Liddell's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

The colorful combination of power and art

Art Aug 9, 2016

The colorful combination of power and art

Each part of Italy has its own character, but Venice has always been something special and unique. While much of Italy was reduced to insignificant statelets, for much of the peninsula's history Venice was quite the reverse. It projected power far across the Mediterranean ...

The earliest memes also had humor

Art Aug 2, 2016

The earliest memes also had humor

The curators at Tokyo's National Museum of Western Art (NMWA) have decided that Japan, a country well-known for its own print art, should know more about the print art of Europe. In this endeavor, they have chosen the work of Israhel van Meckenem (c. ...

The Renaissance rebranding of Italy

Art Jul 19, 2016

The Renaissance rebranding of Italy

Every country tries to find an image that its people can believe in and unite around. Britain recently decided to become an island in its own right instead of a "Continental" country, tied mainly to the European Union. Japan, meanwhile, still seems caught between ...

Seeing Greece, before its civilization peaked

Art Jul 5, 2016

Seeing Greece, before its civilization peaked

We are only a month or so away from the Rio Olympics. While the world will soon be focused on that, in Japan many will also be thinking four years ahead to the Tokyo Olympics. It is easy, then, to see why the Tokyo ...

Renoir's true colors could rescue him from the haters

Art Jun 14, 2016

Renoir's true colors could rescue him from the haters

It's been a few years since the last big Pierre-Auguste Renoir exhibition in town. The last one, if I remember correctly, was "Renoir: Tradition & Innovation" at the National Art Center Tokyo (NACT). That brought over the French impressionist's "Dance at Bougival" (1883), an ...

A liberating walk through the woods

Art May 31, 2016

A liberating walk through the woods

Painters and trees have a lot in common. Both are light-catchers: the painter looks at the world around him and tries to capture it, while a tree catches the light in order to grow. Trees are also part of the world that many artists ...

Caravaggio: Art that has been through the wars

Art May 17, 2016

Caravaggio: Art that has been through the wars

"In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? ...

Ito Jakuchu: Quite the rare bird

Art May 10, 2016

Ito Jakuchu: Quite the rare bird

The best time to see Ito Jakuchu's work was back in 2000 or 2006, when there were two major exhibitions that aimed to re-evaluate the underappreciated 18th-century Kyoto painter. Now that re-evaluation has picked up plenty of steam we are currently experiencing a powerful "Jakuchu ...

Kuniyoshi and Kunisada: When great minds think a little differently

Art Apr 5, 2016

Kuniyoshi and Kunisada: When great minds think a little differently

When Japan opened up to the Western world in the 19th century, popular artistic tastes were dominated by two great woodblock print artists, Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) and Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1864). Contemporaries, keen rivals and both members of the Utagawa School, the pair had the ...

The illuminating nature of Emile Galle

Art Mar 29, 2016

The illuminating nature of Emile Galle

The Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum has always had a connection with French glassware. After all, almost the first thing you see as you enter through the front entrance is a set of glass-relief doors with an angel motif. These were created by the ...