I was at the Rijksmuseum yesterday and they had a pretty fantastic pair of Namban screens in their Asian Pavilion. I took as many closeups as I could before a tour group pushed me out of the way, but once I got back to my hotel I found out their website has two fairly high-res images of them you can zoom in on.
Anywho, here are the closeups I took. Feel free to curate them as you see fit. The information placket at the museum described them as being from c.1600-1625. In addition, it explained that the two Japanese men seen in the third image near the Jesuit priest are Japanese Christians, identifiable by the fact they’re holding prayer beads.
Here are the links to the high-res images on the museum website:
I’m reformatting these so people can really appreciate both the amazing artwork and your photos! You submitted so many, I’m going to make them into multiple posts. It’s really difficult to find decent photos of Nanban Screens, since apparently a lot of museums and curators do not seem to think they’re very important?
Personally, they’ve rapidly become one of my favorite forms of art.
One of my term papers in the Spring was on the depiction of non-white foreigners in the nanban trade screens. The class was structured around this exhibit: http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/theater-art/2013/04/04/west-meets-east-portugal-jesuits-and-japan-exhibit-mcmullen-museum-art/mLIfyK8BaV3d6ShF9UD3RO/story.html
I surveyed 3 pairs of screens, and “Out of 238 non-Japanese figures in the two Naizen screens, 55 have notably dark skin or facial features that do not fit the same large-nosed “barbaric” model used for the Portuguese (Roughly 23%). This 23% ratio of non-White figures within the depicted population of foreigners is quite close to that seen in the other screens, with 13 non-White figures out of 63 foreigners in the Asian Art Museum screens (20%) and 15 out of 50 in the Burke screens (30%).”
I made some further breakdowns, trying to ascertain whether there was any significant difference in the way Japanese artists were depicting South Asian/Indian figures and African figures. Mostly it seemed like mustaches were more of a thing for Indians.
Also the whole research process was really goddamned depressing, because the Portuguese slave trade in the Indian Ocean was fucking terrible.
Wow….is there any chance you’d be willing to submit or link to your paper or a portion of it? It sounds kind of amazing.