Moonlight and Clouds: Silver and Gold in the Arts of Japan

Beginning in the seventeenth century, Japanese artists developed a distinctive repertoire of techniques for applying gold and silver to objects made of diverse materials ranging from lacquer, metal, and wood for decorated objects to paper and silk for calligraphy and painting. Gold and silver played a prominent and integral role in the technical and aesthetic history of Japanese painting, calligraphy, lacquer, metalwork, and architecture, as seen in the thirty-two works on view. Exceptional Japanese methods for lacquer decoration in gold and silver resulted in refined pictorial designs that today form a distinctive achievement in the arts of East Asia.