Gan Rei, Panorama of Higashiyama, a handscroll painting

Early Meiji era, AD 1870s

This informally sketched panorama shows Higashiyama, a scenic area of hills in eastern Kyoto that is steeped in history. The painting dates from the beginning of the Meiji era (1868-1912), when Japan was adopting Western technology on a large scale, as is demonstrated by the gas-lamps. The rickshaws seen here were also becoming popular around this time. The scroll moves along the Kamo River beneath the range of mountains, showing temples, houses, people crossing the bridges and others laying out strips of cloth to dry. Most of the brushwork is done in black or brown ink, but there are touches of colour on the clothing, and on the banners visible in the distance.

Gan Rei (1816-83) was the grandson of Gan Ku (1749-1838), whose rather rough and vigorous style was continued by the artists of the Gan (Kishi) school, which he founded. Gan Rei was taught by his father Gan Tai and brother Gan Kei, and though born in Kyoto, he moved to Tokyo after 1868. The style of this scroll anticipates the work of later Nihonga artists such as Tomita Keisen (1879-1936).

The inscription reads 'Oite Kamogawa Higashiyama ichibō Gan Rei' ('Panorama of Higashiyama from the Kamo River, by Gan Rei') and the seals read 'Gan Rei'.

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Height: 450.000 mm
Width: 1778.000 mm

Museum number

Asia JA JP ADD1054 (1994.8-9.04)



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