Samurai of Old Japan with traditional hairstyle (b/w photo), Japanese Photographer, (19th century) / Private Collection / Peter Newark Pictures / The Bridgeman Art Library
This image is part of the Byzantine School of Art collection, known for ethereal grace and delicate, luminous colors. Japan’s earliest art reflects strong Buddhist influences, and for centuries, both religious and secular art thrived. The Japanese wrote with a pen instead of a brush until modern times, sensitizing them to the aesthetics of painting. Japan popularized ukiyo-e, or woodblock printing, creating detailed images of the theater, landscapes and historical stories. Today, Japan’s contributions to art, fashion and architecture rival most other modern cultures.