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19. Shiokawa Bunrin (1801-1877)
Carp climbing the waterfall at dragon’s gate
Signed: Bunrin sha
Seals: Bunrin .. ..
Technique: sumi on paper 135,2 x 30
Mounting: green gold damask
green ceramic rollers, 203 x 42
Condition: creased, otherwise good

Bunrin’s father was in the service of the Takatsukase family. When in 1820 both his parents died he was sent to Kyoto to study painting. Soon thereafter the head of the Takatsukase family recognized his talent and arranged a place in Toyohiko’s studio (together with a lifetime allowance of rice). He received his training in the Maruyama-Shijô style, but at least as important was his access to Toyohiko’s ‘mythical’ box of copies.

Bunrin’s connection with the Takatsukase family, which was connected with the imperial court, might have had consequences if he had not moved to a rural village in Shiga from where he travelled and visited temples to study their collections of Ming paintings. Meanwhile he remained in contact with some of the imprisoned key figures of the loyalist groups.

Bunrin explored the boundaries of the Maruyama-Shijô style, searched for new interpretations in the Nanga style, and experimented with new painting methods. Through Kôno Bairei (1844-95), his most important pupil, his influence reached well into the 20th century.

Berry & Morioka ‘99 pp. 58-62
Berry & Morioka ‘08 # 66
Conant p. 321
Hillier pp. 335-338
Roberts p. 11
Araki pp. 689-90
Kyoto '98 p. 280