- Museum number
Painting, hanging scroll. Mt Fuji and Tokaido Highway: Probably 'Fuji on the left' view at Naka-Yoshiwara stop; in foreground, zigzag road lined with trees and houses next to rice fields; in background Mt Fuji with line of cloud in middle. Ink and colour on silk. Signed and sealed.
- Production date
Height: 150.50 centimetres (mount)
Height: 57 centimetres
Width: 101 centimetres (mount)
Width: 85.30 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Clark 2001
Not a great deal is recorded about the artist Nakamura Tetsugai, who also used the art-name Gakuren. Sawada 1927, p. 435 and Araki 1975, p. 2652 both make the same few comments: that he was a samurai in the service of the Kakegawa domain famous for his paintings of Mt Fuji, and that he was active in about the Tempo era (1830-44). This information derives from two 'who's who' guides to painters and calligraphers published in Edo: 'Shoga waisui' (1832) and 'Hyaku meika shoga jo' (1837). The Kakegawa domain was in Suruga Province (modern Shizuoka Prefecture) and so ideally located to admire Fuji from the south-west; though Tetsugai is thought to have been a native of Edo, and to have worked mainly at the Kakegawa mansion in the Shogunal capital, rather than in the domain. The location of the view here, however, looks to be much closer to Mt Fuji than Kakegawa, specifically Naka-Yoshiwara on the Tokaido Highway. Here there was a zigzag in the highway, which meant that travellers from Edo to Kyoto who up to now always had Fuji on their right side, were suddenly faced with 'Fuji on the left' ('hidari Fuji', see also cat. 75). The four paintings by Tetsugai in the British Museum's collection (all collected by William Anderson in Japan between 1873 and 1880) together give evidence of two distinct styles: 'Bird's-eye View of Itsukushima' (JP 2621) and 'The Ise Shrine' (JP 2622) are in a stiff, detailed style that looks to derive from printed illustrations in gazetteers of famous places ('meisho zue'). The present work and another showing 'Daimyo Procession and Mountain' (JP 2623) - not apparently a view of Mt Fuji, as was thought by Anderson (Anderson 1886, no. 2436) - are in a freer, more painterly style that seems to combine elements taken from the Maruyama-Shijo and Buncho schools. An album 'Twelve Views of Mt Fuji' by Tetsugai is in the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden ('Hizo Nihon bijutsu taikan vol. 9: Raiden Kokuritsu Minzokugaku Hakubutsukan', Tokyo, Kodansha, 1993, BW no. 48).
Anderson, William. 'Descriptive and Historical Catalogue of a Collection of Japanese and Chinese Paintings in the British Museum'. London, Trustees of the British Museum, 1886, no. 2295.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2001, 11 May-29 Jul, BM Japanese Galleries, '100 Views of Mount Fuji'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The collection of over 2,000 Japanese and Chinese paintings assembled by Prof. William Anderson during his residency in Japan, 1873-1880, was acquired by the Museum in 1881. The items were not listed in the register, but rather were published separately as the 'Descriptive and Historical Catalogue of a Collection of Japanese and Chinese Paintings in the British Museum' (Longmans & Co, 1886).
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Asia painting number: Jap.Ptg.2620 (Japanese Painting Number)