On May 21, 2012, at the Far Eastern Studies Seminar organized by the Department of Far Eastern Studies of the IOM RAS, Dr Alexander Yu. Sinitsyn, a senior researcher at the Department of Eastern and South Eastern Asia, the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, RAS, submitted his presentation, The Collection of Paintings of Kawahara Keiga, Japan, the 1st Half of the 19th Century, Kept at the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, RAS [Коллекция картин Кавахара Кэйга (Япония, первая половина XIX в.) в МАЭ РАН].
Kawahara Keiga (1786-1860?) was an outstanding Nagasaka artist from the 1st half of the 19th century. He belonged to the kara-e mekiki guild whose members could visit Deshima Island where the factories of the Dutch East India Company were located. Some famous officers of the company such as J.C.Blomhoff, J.F.Overmeer Fisscher and P.F. von Siebold ordered some paintings by Kawahara Keiga.
Kawahara Keiga produced a great number of paintings reflecting all aspects of Japanese life of that time such as day-by-day routines including traditional festivals; tools and crafts; portraits of people from all layers of the society; pictures of temples, shrines, deities and cultic attributes; Japanese landscapes; botanical and zoological illustrations; pictures of foreigners such as the Dutch people, Russians, Koreans, Chinese, Indians, Javanese, Ainu, etc.
His paintings served as illustrations for many works on Japan published during the 19th century such as Nippon and Flora japonica by P.F. von Siebold and are kept now in many private collections and state museums in Western Europe, Japan and Russia.
In St Petersburg, his paintings are kept at the State Hermitage, the Library of the Botanical Institute Named after Komarov, the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Central Navy Museum. At the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, RAS, about 60 works by Kawahara Keiga are kept such as landscapes, ethnographic pictures, portraits, from the personal collections of J.F.Overmeer Fisscher, P.L. Schilling von Canstadt, and anonymous collectors.