Height: 1291.000 mm
Width: 495.000 mm
Gift of Sir W. Gwynne-Evans, Bt.
Asia JA JP 2567 (1913.5-1.0493)
Oda Kaisen, Egret on a Willow, a hanging scroll painting
Edo period, 19th century AD
A pure-white heron had been a popular theme in Japanese painting since ancient times, no doubt because of its beauty and dignity. It was often depicted in conjunction with a snow-laden willow tree. The two combine, as here, to create a hushed and tranquil atmosphere.
(1785-1862) had been a pupil of Go Shun (1752-1811), the artist who
began the successful style of the Shijō school of Kyoto. Kaisen
left to study under Rai San'yō (1780-1832), however, and
moved with him to Kyūshū where for five years he studied Chinese
painting of the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368) and Ming dynasty
(1368-1644). He was later to become a leading artist of the
Kaisen here employs various techniques: sotoguma (outside shading) on the branches; sprayed white paint, and tsuketate (a method using no outlines and employing a soft, tapered brush). There is a rich decorative feel to the painting, which reveals the influence of Go Shun's training.
The signature reads 'Kaisen', and the seal 'Hyakkoku', one of his art names, which may have derived in part from one of Go Shun's names, Hyakushōdō.
I. Hirayama and T. Kobayashi (eds.), Hizō Nihon bijutsu taikan-2, vol. 3 (Tokyo, Kodansha, 1993)