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Kusumi Morikage (c.1620-1690)
Signed: Morikage hitsu
Seals: Kusumi
Technique: sumi on paper 26,8 x 43,5
Mounting: light blue damask and dark blue silk
black lacquered rollers, 117 x 44
Condition: aged, otherwise good

Morikage was born in Kage, but lived in Kyoto for most of his life. He was one of four so-called great pupils of Kanô Tan’yû (1602-74) and married Tan’yû’s niece Kuniko. Their daughter Yukinobu (1643-82) (see cat. 20-7) was a painter too and one of the rare woman painters affiliated with the Kanô School.
Around 1675 he was summoned to Kanazawa by the head of the Kaga clan. He lived here until 1680 and possibly produced designs to decorate Kutani ware. It is said that he got into trouble with the shogunate and was banished to the island of Sado, where he died. Morikage was a fine painter and his work is often confused with that of Tan’yû, but it is more free and original, for which reason he may have been dismissed from the Kanô School.

Nihon bijutsu kaiga vol. 16
Roberts p. 112