- Museum number
Painting, pair of six-panel folding screens. Pine trees at Maiko-no-hama beach. Ink and colour on paper. Signed, dated and sealed. With inscribed box.
- Production date
- 1847 (10th month)
Height: 175 centimetres (each)
Width: 366.50 centimetres (each)
- Curator's comments
Smith et al 1990
Though no title is written on the painting itself, the box inscription identifies the subject. Situated between Suma and Akashi, beauty spots celebrated in classical court poetry, Maiko no Hama is a stretch of white sand dotted with wind-swept pines. Ippo has painted a frieze of twisting and tilting trees looming up close to the picture plane and then added a gentle sea landscape fading off into the distance beyond. Ippo's teacher, Mori Tetsuzan (1775-1841), was a pupil of the great Maruyama Okyo (1733-95), who revived and re-invigorated large-scale landscape paintings on folding screens and sliding-door panels during the late eighteenth century. With their soft, decorative washes in ink, pale blue and gold and sense of deep space, Ippo's screens display the enduring techniques and attitudes to composition of the Maruyama school which Okyo had founded: the pattern of brushwork used in the trees and rocks, and water, too, is particularly close to the manner of the earlier Kyoto master.
Folding screens are intended to be seen from a low viewpoint, seated on a 'tatami' mat floor. Ippo has so organised the composition that the viewer would have the vivid sensation of actually looking out between the trunks of the pine trees to the sea beyond.
Yamaguchi Prefectural Art Museum, 'Maruyama-ha to Mori Kansai', Yamaguchi, 1982.
Hizo Nihon bijutsu taikan Vol 1
Mori Ippo (1794-1871) was born in the village of Yoshida in Kyushu to the Iwasaki family, and studied under the Osaka artist Mori Tetsuzan. His given name was Keishi, his familiar name was Shiko, and Ippo was his pen name. He married Tetsuzan's daughter Ryu and succeeded to the Mori household. However, he was eclipsed as an artist by another adopted son, Mori Kansai, and today Ippo is not well known. Yet he left behind many outstanding paintings like this one, and his work deserves reevaluation.
The Setouchi beach, which stretches from Maiko to Akashi, is well known as the setting for ancient poetry from the 'Manyoshu'. Ippo himself probably visited the spot any number of times. This work, depicting a tranquil beach lined with ancient pine trees, has a peaceful, refined air, with an elegance that appealed to the townspeople of Osaka. The way the rocks settle into the shore and the positioning of the limbs of the pine trees suggest that Ippo may have based this on an earlier Okyo painting.
Tetsuzan was one of Okyo's "Ten Great Disciples," and it is clear that he passed what he learned from his teacher on to his student Ippo. It also seems probable that Tetsuzan, concerned about the decline of the Murayama school in Kyoto after the deaths of Okyo and Ozui, sent his pupil and adopted son-in-law Kansai to Kyoto, while keeping Ippo with him in Osaka. Both Ippo and Kansai are known to have participated in the restoration of the Kyoto Imperial Palace.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2015 April-October, London, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present' (1984,0601,0.2)
2015 October-2016 April, London, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present' (1984,0601,0.1)
- Acquisition date
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Asia painting number: Jap.Ptg.Add.790 (Japanese Painting Additional Number)
Asia painting number: Jap.Ptg.Add.791 (Japanese Painting Additional Number)