Height: 200.000 mm
Width: 300.000 mm
Bequeathed by Oscar C. Raphael
Asia JA JP ADD180 (1945.11-1.055.1)
Kanō Isen'in Naganobu, Twelve Famous Places in Japan, an album of 12 paintings
Late Edo period, AD 1802-16
These paintings come from an album labelled simply 'Sansui gajō' ('Landscape paintings'). However, their pictorial references seem too precise for them to be simply 'landscapes'; they are, rather, 'pictures of famous places' (meisho-e), a tradition in Japanese art dating back to the Heian period (AD 794-1185). Shown here is Mt. Yoshino (near Nara) in springtime, covered in blossoming cherry.
Isen'in Naganobu (1775-1828) was the seventh generation
head of the Kobikichō branch of the Kanō school in Edo (modern
Tokyo). He was an artist of considerable talent, and was official
painter to the shōgun. For this work he employed mild, graceful
brushwork and colouring, drawing on an older style of
Each leaf of the album bears the signature 'Isen Hōen hitsu' ('Painted by Isen of hōgen rank') and a seal 'Naganobu'. Naganobu was awarded the title hōgen ('Eye of the Law') in 1802 and further elevated to hōin ('Seal of the Law') in 1816.
I. Hirayama and T. Kobayashi (eds.), Hizō Nihon bijutsu taikan-1, vol. 2 (Tokyo, Kodansha, 1992)