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Yokoyama Kazan, Enjoying the Evening Cool Beneath Moonflowers, a hanging scroll painting

 

Height: 875.000 mm
Width: 310.000 mm

Asia JA JP 2755 (1881.12-10.02724)

    Yokoyama Kazan, Enjoying the Evening Cool Beneath Moonflowers, a hanging scroll painting

    Japan
    Edo period, early 19th century AD

    A screen by Kusumi Morikage (about 1620-90, Tokyo National Museum) shows the same subject of an informal family group enjoying the cool evening air. In that work the moon is shown, but here it is only suggested by the couple's upturned faces. In Morikage's screen a child sits on the straw matting with the couple, but Kazan gives us a more intimate glimpse into the world of a husband and wife. As if to emphasize the pleasure of exposing one's skin to the cool air after the stifling heat of the day, the man in Kazan's painting wears only a loincloth (rather than the robe of the older work). Kazan was renowned for his love of sake, and before the couple are placed a celadon porcelain bottle and a cup.

    Yokoyama Kazan (1784-1837) was a pupil of both Gan Ku (1749-1838, founder of the Gan (Kishi) school) and Go Shun (1752-1811, founder of the Shijō school), and amalgamated the styles of both men in his paintings. However, the techniques and tone of this work lean more towards the Shijō school. The painting has a cool and relaxed atmosphere, and would likely have been hung in a hot room in summer to help evoke such a mood.

    The signature reads 'Heian Kazan sha' ('Painted by Kazan of Kyoto'), and the seal reads ‘Kazan'.

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

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