The Easel

Tawaraya Sotatsu’s art inspired many — once it was saved from oblivion

Tawaraya Sotatsu emerged during the Edo period when Japan isolated itself from the West. Despite being a commoner, he became the era’s pre-eminent artist with his bold, almost abstract designs. Introduced to Western audiences only in the early twentieth century, his work influenced Art Deco as well as individual artists such as Klimt and Matisse. This is his first major retrospective outside Japan. More images are here.