<- Back Home

click image to enlarge

64. Album with 12 Nanga fan paintings by: Taiga, Unsen, Bunchô, Nanzan, Chikutô, Gyokuran, Hankô, Aigai, Shukuya, Baiitsu, Kazan and Fuyô
Nanga fans
Technique: 32,6 x 59,4
Box: brown silk shitsu in wooden box
Condition: varied, from good to fair

1. Ike Taiga (1723-1776) 池大雅 - Landscape 18,3 x 52
sign: 九霞山樵寫「印」遵生 Kyûka Sanshô [seal:] Junshô
Taiga has become the best-known and most influential Nanga painter of the 18th century. He was the son of a farmer and he worked at a fan-painting shop in Kyoto and engraved seals.
After an accidental meeting with Yanagisawa Kien (1704-1758) he became his student and learned the Chinese technique of finger-painting in 1738. He became friends with Kô Fuyô (1722-84) and Kan Tenju (1727-95), who also worked in Kien’s studio.
In 1746 he married the poet/painter Gyokuran (1727-84), the owner of a teahouse. Taiga was a frequent traveller and in Edo he got into contact with Western imagery through Noro Genjô (1693-1761), a rangakusha, scholar of Western learning. This meeting also had an influence on Taiga’s work.
After Taiga died his studio Taigadô became a kind of pilgrimage resort for his followers.

2. Kushiro Unsen (1759-1811) 釧雲泉 - Landscape 18 x 50,3
sign: 雲泉寫「印」釧就之印、雲泉 Unsen sha [seals:] Kushiro Shû noin, Unsen
Unsen was born at the foot of mount Unsen, after which he took his name, at Shimabara a city in nowadays Nagasaki prefecture. He moved to Nagasaki where he studied under Chinese painters. After his father died he travelled extensively. Where in Kansai he met with Gyokudô, Shunkin, Baigai, Kien, Kenkadô and Rai San’yô. From 1802-1806 he went to Edo where he studied under Tani Bunchô (1763-1840) and s He finally settled in Niigata where he led a secluded life, but was visited by many of his painter friends from Kansai and Edo. After his death Kameda Bôsai (1752-1826) wrote an eulogy and Tanomura Chikuden (1777-1835) praised his work in one of his books.

3. Tani Bunchô (1763-1840) 谷文晁 - Tamarind (1835) 16,8 x 44,5
sign: 文晁「印」七十三翁 Bunchô [seal:] Nanjûô (73)
Bunchō was the eldest son of Tani Rokkoku (1729-1809), a retainer of the Tayasu daimyō family and a well-known poet. From the age of ten Bunchō took painting lessons with the Kanô painter Katô Bunrei (1706-82). After about ten years of Kanô training, around the year of Bunrei’s death he started to experiment in a wide range of other styles. He was taught the decorative Chinese painting style of Shen Nan P’in by Watanabe Gentai. The Yuan and Ming styles as well as the European styles he learned from Kitayama Kangan (1767-1801), the Sesshû style from Sakurai Sekkan (1715-90) (Sesshû XII) and Maruyama-Shijô painting from Watanabe Nangaku (1767-1813). From Go Shun, whom he met a couple of times travelling the Kansai region, he picked up the Buson style.
In 1792 Bunchō was appointed personal attendant to Matsudaira Sadanobu (1758-1829), the head of the Tokugawa government, and accompanied him on his travels from 1787 to 1793. In 1794 Bunchô organized probably the first exhibition of contemporary painting in Edo, just like Minegawa Kien (1734-1807) had organized his Shin Shoga Tenkan* in Kyoto. In 1812 Sadanobu retired. After his employer’s death in 1829 Bunchō took the tonsure and was appointed on’eshi (distinguished painting master) by the Matsudaira family and he was generously awarded a yearly stipend of 150 koku. in 1837 he received the honorary rank of hôgen* .
Bunchô was a wealthy man who was hardly able to satisfy the demand for his paintings.

4. Nanzan (?) 南山 - Tanabata festival July 7 18 x 47,3
sign: 七十七叟南山為嫡孫士迪「印」士京之印、吉右氏
nanajûnana (77) shû Nanzan i chakuson shiteki [seals:] Shikyô noin, Yoshimigi uji

5. Nakabayashi Chikutô (1776-1853) 中林竹洞 - Landscape (1811) 17,7 x 50,7
sign: 竹洞山人寫「印」竹洞  Chikutô sanjin sha [seal:] Chikutô
Chikutô is regarded as the theorist of the Nanga School and as such of great interest because he introduced the conservative nanga style into the 19th century Kansai area.
He was the son of a Nagoya doctor, but at the age of fifteen he became a protégé of Kamiya Ten'yû. At his house he saw and studied Chinese paintings. With his companion Yamamoto Baiitsu (1783-1856) they went to Kyoto in 1802 for a brief stay. In 1815 Chikutô went back to Nagoya permanently. He then joined the circle of Rai San'yô (1780-1832).

6. Ike Gyokuran (1727/28- 1784) 池野玉瀾 - Landscape 18,6 x 47,2
sign: 玉瀾「印」玉瀾、松風 Gyokuran [seals:] Gyokuran, Shôfû
Gyokuran was born in Kyôto. As a young woman, she had helped to operate a teahouse in the Gion district which had been established by her grandmother, and consequently passed on to her mother. Both her grandmother and mother were also well-known poets and they are collectively referred to as the "three women of Gion". She studied under Ikeno Taiga, whom she married in 1746, but she was an accomplished poet and painter in her own right. In her paintings she often inscribed the poetry of her mother. One of the best woman painters of the Nanga school, known for her small-scale paintings in the manner of her husband. Her style is soft,mild, graceful and utterly charming.

7. Okada Hankô (1782-1846) 岡田半江 - Landscape 15,8 x 46,5
sign: 半江粛「印」田粛子羽 Hankô Shuku [seals:] Denshuku Shiu
Hankô was considered the foremost bunjinga artist of his time. He was a native of Osaka and the son and pupil of the well-known painter Okada Beisanjin (1744-1818). Like his father Hankô served lord Tôdô of Tsu as a minor official at the clan’s rice warehouse in Osaka. Hankô resigned at the age of thirty-nine in favour of his son. He joined the intellectual circles of Osaka and started travelling as a bokkyaku (‘ink guest’, exchanging paintings for hospitality).

8. Takaku Aigai (1796-1843) 高久靄厓 - Landscape 18,2 x 49,3
sign: 踈林外史 「印」子遠 Sorin Gaishi [seal:] Shien
Aigai (Sorin Gaishi ) was born in Shimotsuke, Eastern Japan. He went to Edo in 1816 where he became a pupil of Tani Bunchô (1763-1840). He studied old Chinese paintings and travelled extensively in Northern Japan where he sold his sketches to keep him moving around. He settled in Kyoto for a while where he studied and copied old paintings in temples. Only much later he returned to Edo. “One of the most polished Japanese bunjinga painters”(Roberts).

9. Aoki Shukuya (c.1735-1802) 青木夙夜 - Landscape 16,5 x 42,8
sign: 餘夙夜「印」夙夜、知足 Yo Shukuya [seals:] Shukuya, Chisoku
Shukuya lived in Kyoto. He was born in Ise, possibly from Korean parents. He was adopted by Nakagawa Tenju (..-1795), who was an acquaintance of Ike no Taiga (1723-1776) and Kô Fûyô (1722-1784). When he was about fourteen Shukuya became a pupil of Taiga. He became his best pupil and he remained his closest follower. After Taiga’s death the Taiga society erected a memorial hall: “Taigadô” and in 1787 they installed Shukuya as Taigadô II. His duties were to maintain the Taiga heritage and the newly built Taiga Hall. There he lived as a recluse for more than ten years, neglecting the maintenance, and working in his own chosen variant of Taiga’s style. As this was not in line with the ideals of the Taiga society, his tenure was taken over by his fellow Taiga student, the priest Yamaoka Geppô (1760-1839).

10. Yamamoto Baiitsu (1783-1856) & .. .. (1818) 山本梅逸 - Landscape 16,9 x 49
sign: 梅逸、☐☐老人「印」梅逸、☐☐ Baiitsu & .. .. rôjin [seals:] Baiitsu, illegable
16,9 x 49
Baiitsu was born in Nagoya, son of a sculptor in the service of the Owari clan. Baiitsu studied painting with the Shijō painter Chō Gesshō (1772-1832) and he became a protégé of Kamiya Ten'yū (1721-1801), a wealthy collector of Chinese paintings in Nagoya. Together with Chikutō, another uchi deshi (resident pupil) they learned Chinese painting styles.

After the death of Ten’yū in 1802, both Chikutō and Baiitsu traveled to Kyoto. In 1803 Baiitsu traveled Japan (using Nagoya as his base). In 1814 he spent considerable time in Edo with Bunchō. Baiitsu as well as Chikutō were acquainted with many of their fellow bunjin like Shunkin, Chikuden and Okada Hankō (1782-1846). Baiitsu taught many pupils and together with Chikutō they were considered two best Nanga painters working in Nagoya. Baiitsu finally returned in 1854 to retire under the patronage of the Owari clan.

11. Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841) 渡辺崋山 - Portrait of a bunjin 16,8 x 46
sign: 華山☐「印」華山 Kazan .. [seal:] Kazan
Kazan, painter, poet, scholar and a patriot is still considered an important character in Japan.
He was the son of a samurai of the impoverished Tawara clan. At the age of 17 he became a pupil of Tani Bunchô (1763-1840), who taught him the technique of flower painting in the Ch'ing style. Apart from studying Nanga landscape painting with Kaneko Kinryô (17..- 1817) he also studied western painting. Especially his western style portraits of literati are famous.
He was a member of the Shoshikai, a group that was interested in rangaku, western science and Dutch learning. The membership of this group resulted in his arrest, because everything western was considered to be dangerous to the Bakufu. His death sentence was commuted to life-long house arrest and he was only rehabilitated in 1891, 50 years after his death. After being imprisoned on false charges in 1838 he committed suicide in 1841.

12. Suzuki Fuyô (1749-1816) 鈴木芙蓉 - Landscape 20,5 x 52,3
sign: 芙蓉 「印」☐☐ Fuyô [seals:] illeagable
Fuyō was the second son of a farmer from Kitagatamura, Nagano Prefecture. In 1778 he went to Edo to take up Chinese studies at the Shōheikō* and apparently he studied painting with Watanabe Gentai (1749-1822). In 1782 Tani Bunchō (1763-1840) supposedly became his pupil to study the compositions of the Zhe-school. At the recommendation of his friend Shibano Ritsuzan (1736-1807), who had become specialist of Chinese studies to the domain of Awa in 1767, Fuyō became an official painter to this domain.
Fuyō traveled in Japan and visited Kimura Kenkadō (1739-1802) in 1790, 1793 and 1796. In 1807 he went to Nagasaki.