Not currently on display at the V&A

Japanese Scene with Red Temple

Oil Painting
1889-90 (painted)
Place of origin

Oil painting depicting a Shinto temple with a red roof in Kyoto

Object details

Object type
  • Japanese Scene with Red Temple (generic title)
  • The Last Ray of Evening Light on the Red Temple of Gi-on (assigned by artist)
Materials and techniques
Oil on panel
Brief description
Oil painting entitled 'The Last Ray of Evening Light on the Red Temple of Gi-on' or 'Japanese Scene with Red Temple' by Sir Alfred East. British School, ca. 1889-90.
Physical description
Oil painting depicting a Shinto temple with a red roof in Kyoto
  • Estimate height: 14in
  • Estimate width: 10.375in
Dimensions taken from Summary catalogue of British Paintings, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973
Marks and inscriptions
'ALFRED EAST' (Signed by the artist)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Henry Louis Florence
Object history
Bequeathed by Henry L. Florence, 1916

Historical significance: Alfred East (1844-1913) studied first at the Government School of Art at Glasgow, then in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Atelier Julian. During the summer vacations he worked at Barbizon and along the Seine valley; at this time his landscape style was lastingly influenced by the French plein-airpainters such as Corot, Daubigny and Rousseau. On East's return to England around 1883 he began to exhibit landscape paintings at the Royal Academy and elsewhere.

A turning point of East's career came in the late 1880s when he was commissioned by the Fine Art Society in London to visit Japan. At this time there was an avid market in the West for Japanese scenes and objects. This painting is one of East's charming scenes of Japanese life, seen from what he himself called 'the European point of view' (Oxford DNB).

East also travelled in France, Spain, Italy and Morocco. He was knighted in 1910 and elected Royal Academician in 1913, the year of his death.

The painting was bequeathed to the V&A in 1916 by Henry L. Florence of Prince's Gate, South Kensington, London. The bequest also included paintings by Brangwyn, Clausen, Corot, Leighton and Fantin-Latour.
Subjects depicted
Places depicted
Bibliographic reference
Johnson, Paul and McConkey, Kenneth. Alfred East- Lyrical Landscape Painter. Bristol: Sansom & Company, 2009.
Accession number

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest feedback

Record createdApril 24, 2007
Record URL
Download as: JSONIIIF Manifest