拡大《A Gift of the Sea》

    AOKI Shigeru

    《A Gift of the Sea》

    1904  Oil on canvas

    Aoki Shigeru is the leading artist of the age of Romanticism. During his brief life, which ended at twenty-eight, he was always at the leading edge of his times.
    In mid July, 1904, having just graduated from the Western Painting Faculty of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, he set out on a sketching trip with his friends, the artists Sakamoto Hanjiro, Morita Tsunetomo, and Fukuda Tane, to Mera, at Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture. A Gift of the Sea is his masterwork from that month and a half in the fishing village, which faces the Pacific’s Kuroshio Current. Sakamoto later wrote that he had encountered a spectacular scene of fishermen returning with a big catch. After he went back and told Aoki about it, Aoki started working on A Gift of the Sea the next day. Sakamoto also wrote that the painting was utterly unlike the actual scene. Aoki’s transformation of the scene after hearing the eyewitness description reveals his imaginative brilliance and creativity.
    The painting shows ten naked men carrying three sharks on their backs, moving along the beach in two lines. The figures in the middle of the group are bathed in strong light shining directly from the front. Aoki had absorbed the landforms and the customs of Mera and recreated them, in wild brushwork, in a theme filled with youthful energy. Since Aoki himself said nothing about what inspired him, researchers have offered various interpretations: the Parthenon friezes, the Pre-Raphaelites, an advertisement for medicine, or Mera’s shrine festival.

    Other works

    See more
    Share this page
    《A Gift of the Sea》