Jeff Michael Hammond

For Jeff Michael Hammond's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Connecting Rubens and the Baroque

Art Nov 13, 2018

Connecting Rubens and the Baroque

Suffering saints and sultry nudes — Peter Paul Rubens has them all. The Flemish painter (1577-1640) took on a variety of subject matter, and also had a hand in pushing predominant tastes from the Renaissance's revival of classical ideas to the more elaborate experiments ...

Jomon art: Japan's prehistoric charm

Art Jul 24, 2018

Jomon art: Japan's prehistoric charm

Fertile periods of artistic endeavor are not hard to come by in Japanese history. Many would cite the Edo, Muromachi or Heian periods. The Tokyo National Museum, however, reminds visitors of one era often forgotten — the ancient Jomon Period.

The explorations of Emperor Rudolf II

Art Jan 23, 2018

The explorations of Emperor Rudolf II

The strides in Western culture that took place around the 16th century are all too often associated with the Italian Renaissance, but other centers of learning in Europe deserve equal attention. Of note is Prague, where Rudolf II, the Holy Roman Emperor from the ...

Hokusai's great wave that swept Europe

Art Dec 5, 2017

Hokusai's great wave that swept Europe

Innovative, creative, and immensely prolific, Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) was celebrated during his lifetime in his native Japan. His works were among the first major examples of Japanese art to be widely appreciated overseas in the second half of the 19th century. "Hokusai and Japonisme" at ...

Motonobu: The father of Kano styles

Art Oct 24, 2017

Motonobu: The father of Kano styles

A family-run enterprise, the Kano school of painting was a consistent force in Japan's art world for more than 300 years, from the Muromachi Period (1336-1573) up until its fortune waned in the 19th century. "Celebrating a Decade in Roppongi, Kano Motonobu: All Under ...

Belgium's artistic flights of fancy

Art Aug 1, 2017

Belgium's artistic flights of fancy

Diabolic torture inflicted on the ungodly; unspeakable yearnings straight out of the subconscious — the country now known as Belgium has given the world over five centuries' worth of depictions of the unimaginable. "Fantastic Art in Belgium" at The Bunkamura Museum of Art places Hieronymus ...

Straddling East and West in art

Art Jul 25, 2017

Straddling East and West in art

Hybridity and eclecticism may be key concepts in much contemporary art, yet they are not new phenomena. In the Taisho Era (1912-1926), Tetsugoro Yorozu virtually personified the idea of hybrid art: As Japan rushed toward modernization, he not only experimented with the very latest ...

Big impressions live in the details

Art Feb 28, 2017

Big impressions live in the details

Distracted by the frenzy of today's hyper-connected world, many of us can easily overlook the everyday incidents that encourage smiles or offer simple affirmations of life being lived. The India-born artist N.S. Harsha, however, thrives on such observations. As his solo exhibition at the Mori ...

Under Lucas Cranach's spell

Art Dec 6, 2016

Under Lucas Cranach's spell

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) is acknowledged as one of the greats of the German Renaissance. His combination of religious piety and fleshly eroticism went on to inspire artists across the globe, including many in Japan. Despite his standing worldwide, however, Cranach's career and ...

Suzuki Kiitsu: Bringing modernity to Rimpa

Art Sep 20, 2016

Suzuki Kiitsu: Bringing modernity to Rimpa

The artist Suzuki Kiitsu (1796-1858) was long considered a late and somewhat minor player in the Rimpa school, which emerged in Kyoto early in the Edo Period (1603-1868). The Suntory Museum of Art's current exhibition now re-evaluates Kiitsu's career and his contributions to this ...