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Chikudô (Ki Nei) († 1825) & Minagawa Kien (1734-1807)
Carp climbing a waterfall
Signed: Nei Chikudô sha, Minagawa Gen dai
Seals: Ki Nei Chikudô, Minagawa Gen in, Hakkyô shi, Kien (top)
Technique: sumi and little colour on silk 100,4 x 32,8
Mounting: blue decorated silk fabric and bronze damask
196 x 46
Condition: very good

At the right time they jump up against the water of the Dragon gate
Already from the start all fish with scales and dorsal fins are insprited.

(The Dragon gate is a waterfall in the yellow river. If a carp successfully passes the Dragon Gate, a waterfall in the yellow river, the carp will turn into a dragon).

Chikudô was a pupil of Murakami Toshû (act c. 1800). Although he was famous in his day, he is now actually only known for one of the loveliest Nanga albums, the Chikudô gafu.

Roberts p. 13
Araki p. 652

Kien was born in Kyoto. He started his Confucian studies at the age of five and was teaching by the time he was twenty-five. He entered the service of the Matsudaira family of the domain of Kameyama in Tanba province. In the 1780s he was invited by the domain of Zeze in Ômi province to set up an education system. In 1805 he established a successful Confucian school in Kyoto, which attracted more than 3000 students, but the school went into a rapid decline after his death two years later.
Kien studied first painting with Mochizuki Gyokusen (1692-1755) and later with Maruyama Ôkyo (1733-95), Gan Ku (1749-1838) and Go Shun (1752-1811). From 1783 onwards, in spring and autumn, he organized the Shin Shoga Tenkan, the Exhibition of New Calligraphies and Paintings at the Sôrin-ji in Kyoto. Here he presented the work of many of his friends and colleagues.

Roberts p. 78
Araki p. 1892 ff.
Rosenfield B.54
Beerens p. 105 ff.
Hillier p. 60