Hirayama Ikuo Painting Work
The Silk Road

The Crossroads on the Way to Civilization The Anatolia Plateau  Cappadocia,Turkey

  • Hirayama Ikuo
  • 2009
  • Color on Paper (Japanese Style Painting, Nihonga)
  • 171.0×364.0cm

Cappadocia, located in the center of the Anatolia Plateau at an altitude of over 1,000 meters. Different strata of volcanic ash form unique rocks after thousands of years of continual erosion. In the 3rd century, Christians dug caves and lived there to avoid persecution by the Roman Empire. Under threat of Persian and Islamic forces, they built dungeons and monasteries over the next ten centuries. In the painting, we could see caravans of merchants and camels passed through against the background of huge rocks in Cappadocia. This is a symbol of the nation and its culture. Before his death, Hirayama Ikuo completed this work in sickness and attended the 94th exhibition of the Japan Academy of Fine Arts for the last time. He once attended the Oriental Relics Academic Investigation Group of Tokyo University of the Arts in 1966. At the age of 36, he made a copy of the murals of the monastery in the caves of Cappadocia. He once recalled that his first trip to the Silk Road had provided an opportunity to paint on the theme of it for the rest of his life. It is not surprising that his last masterpiece was painted on the theme of Cappadocia.