In this precious and delightful book, Felice Beato and his outstanding photos transport the reader to the world of fascination and mystery of 19th-century Japan.
An extraordinary collection of eighty pictures from the Alinari Archives located in Florence, Italy makes up a never-before-published sequence of images including portraits, landscapes, and rituals providing a rare entry into traditional 19th-century Japan. Felice Beato was one of the first Western photographers to enter Japan when the country first opened its borders (1853); he revealed to the Western world a country preserved in time and never seen before. In 1863 he moved to Yokohama and opened a photography school, the School of Yokohama.
The photos of the book preserve the original photographic prints, manually colored black-and-white prints, that truly embody the spirit of that period. Images feature fascinating portraits of women in kimonos, geishas, samurai warriors, and interiors of Japanese homes and gardens as well as scenes of everyday life including tea ceremonies or the theater. Each photo is accompanied by text providing historical, anthropological, and artistic context.
This is a charming volume which comes with a Japanese-inspired design, with decorative patterns and colors recalling Japanese paper tradition and kimono fashion.
About The Author
Rossella Menegazzo is a professor at Milan University, department of Oriental studies, specializing in Japanese art and culture. Her English-language bibliography includes WA: The Essence of Japanese Design (Phaidon, 2014). Felice Beato was an Italian-British photographer (1832-1909). He was one of the first European photographers to work in Eastern Asia (China, India, Japan, and Korea), where he spent most of his life. His work was the subject of the exhibition Felice Beato: A Photographer on the Eastern Road at the Paul Getty Museum in 2011.