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Ishida Yūtei, Deer and Japanese Cypress, a 2-fold screen painting


Height: 1640.000 mm
Width: 1768.000 mm

Asia JA JP ADD1143 (1998,1216.01)

    Ishida Yūtei, Deer and Japanese Cypress, a 2-fold screen painting

    Edo period, AD 1770-86

    The painting is done entirely in tones of black ink, the forms enlivened by the glowing gold-leaf background. In the bottom-left corner a stylized foaming torrent cascades down, and above is the faint hint of clouds amid the gold.

    Yūtei (1721-86) was an important fourth generation member of the Tsuruzawa school, the most innovative lineage of painters in the academic Kanō style in Kyoto in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He is best known today as the teacher of Maruyama ōkyo (1733-95), whose followers formed the most significant new school of painting in Kyoto in the later Edo period (late eighteenth and nineteenth century).

    The brushwork is similar to that of the Edo Kanō school from which the Tsuruzawa derived, but there is a noticeable loosening in several areas, which may suggest the influence of the increasingly successful ōkyo. The broad, vertical strokes of the tree trunk here, for instance, call to mind the famous hanging scroll by ōkyo of 1765, Pine Tree in the Snow (Tokyo National Museum). The teacher seems to be following the pupil.

    The signature reads 'Hōgen Yūtei hitsu' (From the brush of Yūtei of hōgen rank). This was the highest rank that Yūtei attained, suggesting the screen dates from late in his career. The seals read ‘Shōshidō' and 'Morinao'.


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