Maruyama ōshin, Cherry Trees at Arashi-yama, and Otoko-yama by Moonlight, a pair of hanging scroll paintings

Japan
Edo period, early 19th century AD

ōshin (1790-1838) specialized in quiet compositions, which frequently featured a poem, as here. Paintings with too individualistic a tone would not be appropriate for added waka verses, but ōshin aimed to create works which harmonized with the poem in their composition and content. He followed the intelligent, simple style of his grandfather, Maruyama ōkyo (1733-95), but tried to inject this with his own particular sensibility.

On the right-hand scroll pine and cherry trees lead deep into the picture, and a waterfall emerges at the base of the valley. Temple buildings can be seen among the trees, and birds fly high above. The poem may be translated:

'To paint Arashi-yama alike with Yoshino -
smothered by cherry blossom,
waterfalls like white threads'

On the left-hand scroll there are again pine and cherry trees. They disappear into the mist at the base of the mountains. The tree silhouetted against the moon recalls the paintings of Nagasawa Rosetsu (1754-99), one of ōkyo's pupils. The poem here reads:

'The moon shines over Otoko-yama,
Pervading the scene with its sharp brilliance'

The signature on both scrolls reads ‘ōshin', and the seals read the same.

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Maruyama ōshin, Cherry Trees at Arashi-yama, and Otoko-yama by Moonlight, a pair of hanging scroll paintings

Left-hand scroll

  • Right-hand scroll

    Right-hand scroll

 

More information

Bibliography

I. Hirayama and T. Kobayashi (eds.), Hizō Nihon bijutsu taikan-2, vol. 3 (Tokyo, Kodansha, 1993)

Dimensions

Height: 1119.000 mm (each)
Width: 459.000 mm

Museum number

Asia JA JP ADD626-7 (1980.7-28.05-06)

JCF8953

Location

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