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Ernest Fenollosa (Ernest Francisco Fenollosa) Biography

(1853–1908), (Ernest Francisco Fenollosa), Imagination in Art, Epochs of Chinese and Japanese Art, Cathay, Noh

American orientalist and aesthetician, born in Salem, Massachusetts, educated at Harvard; in 1877 he began teaching at Tokyo University, where he developed a deep interest in Japanese painting. He was appointed Imperial Commissioner of Fine Arts by the Japanese administration in 1886. He subsequently lectured widely in the USA on art education and Japanese art. His numerous works include Imagination in Art (1894), a statement of his aesthetic philosophy, and Epochs of Chinese and Japanese Art (edited by M. Fenollosa, 1912). Ezra Pound was given his papers in 1913, drawing upon them heavily for the translations of Chinese poetry in Cathay (1915) and in the writing of ‘Nohor Accomplishment: A Study of the Classical Stage of Japan (1916). His versions of Noh dramas were used by Pound to prepare Certain Noble Plays of Japan (1916), which carries an introduction by W. B. Yeats, himself much influenced by Fenollosa's work. In 1936 Pound edited Fenollosa's The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry, its theories of poetic imagery having informed the poetics of Cantos (1987). Fenollosa: The Far East and American Culture by L. W. Chisholm appeared in 1963.

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