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Tani Bunchō, Kazan en'u ('Summer Mountains and Misty Rain'), a hanging scroll painting

  • Detail: signature and seals

    Detail: signature and seals

 

Height: 1769.000 mm
Width: 998.000 mm

Asia JA JP ADD667 (1981.10-22.01)

    Tani Bunchō, Kazan en'u ('Summer Mountains and Misty Rain'), a hanging scroll painting

    Japan
    Edo period, AD 1826

    This is typical of the atmospheric ink paintings of summer scenes that were made popular by Bunchō in the Bunsei era (1818-30).The painting surface is completely filled with mountains rising out of smoke or vapour, a common device in landscapes by Bunchō. The mountain dominates the painting from the rear, leaving an extensive space in the foreground. This foreground is given a sense of depth by the use of ink in a variety of tones for the trees and banks, and by the sharp brushwork for the house and bridge, where a figure crosses. The centre of the painting is filled with naturalistically drawn mist and clouds, which almost obscure the waterfall beyond.

    Tani Bunchō (1763-1840) was one of the foremost Edo painters of his day, and had great influence over many other artists. He first studied painting with artists of the Kanō and Nanpin schools, but went on to master the various methods of Chinese ink painting throughout its history. He also studied Ukiyo-e (paintings and prints of the 'Floating world') and Western painting, and produced an extremely eclectic body of work.

    The inscription reads 'Bunsei hinoe inu mōshū sha u Suiunken-chū, Bunchō' ('Painted by Bunchō in early autumn [seventh month], 1826 at the Suiunken [studio]'). The seal reads 'Rakusan-sō' ('Old man Rakusan'). The title of the painting derives from the box inscription.

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

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