In this paper would like to follow the notion of ‘Japan’ and ‘art’ in connection with three significant writings on ‘Japanese painting’ and ‘Japanese art’. The ‘Collection on painting’, completed in 1623 by Kanou Ikkei (1599–1662), is a ‘discourse on painting’, which follows a traditional Chinese genre: writings on painting theory, criticism, principles or classification, also including books on painting subjects, history and biographies of painters. Ikkei in his work, which was completed shortly after the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate at the beginning of the 17th century, introduced Chinese painting theory and Chinese painting subjects. Ikkei in his later work, in the ‘Collection of young trees of painting’, completed around 1655 – when Japan already closed its borders –, recorded the biographies of 153 Japanese painters. This work can be considered the first book on ‘Japanese painting’, however at that time the concept of ‘Japanese art’ was not established yet. The Japanese term meaning art was constructed as late as the second half of the 19th century from a translation of a western term. At that time in Japan ‘Westernization’, meaning political, economical, social and cultural modernization took place, and a new nation-state was formed after the opening up of its ports: both the concept of ‘Japan’ and ‘art’ was re-defined. The Histoire de l’Art du Japon published for the 1900 Paris World Exhibition, was the first work in which Japan introduced its own art to the ‘foreign’ world, based on Western concepts, compiled and produced by the Tokyo Imperial Museum under the orders of the Japanese government.
Contrarily to most traditional accounts on the foundation of the Republic, Dionysius describes the passage from the Tarquins’ monarchy to the Republic as a lawful constitutional reform, in which L. Junius Brutus played a pivotal role. In my paper I analyze the speech that Brutus delivers to the Roman patricians to endorse the establishment of a new government in Rome. The new constitution, although remaining essentially monarchical, will keep its autocratic nature concealed from the people. Throughout this paper, I show how Dionysius in his presentation of Brutus picked up elements both related to the senatorial propaganda against M. Junius Brutus — Caesar’s murderer, who claimed descent from L. Brutus and the tyrannicide Ahala — and, at the same time, the character of Augustus’s newly-founded government. This account may thus be regarded as Dionysius’ own elaboration of Augustus’s constitutional reform.
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