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Nagazawa Rosetsu (1754-1799) & Minagawa Kien (1734-1807)
Maruyama (Shijô)
Old pines on New Years day
Signed: Rosetsu & Kyôsai
Seals: Gyô noin Inkyo, Minagawa Gen in & Kien (tp)
Technique: sumi and red on paper 127 x 27,6
Date: c. 1796
Mounting: light blue damask
wooden rollers, 188,5 x 41,5
Box: inscribed: Rosetsu ga kyokujitsu furumatsu zu Minagawa sensei san - Rosetsu painted old pines at New Year, inscription by Minagawa sensei
Condition: very good

The inscription reads: 穉松睦月萬壽茲始 Chishô mutsuki banju shi shi
Young pines in the first month, the beginning of longevity.

Little is known about Rosetsu’s life and most of it is uncertain because he didn’t become old enough to have other people confirm any of the (juicy) stories. Rosetsu was an important painter, an eccentric with a highly individual style, which in some cases turned completely uninhibited at the end of his life.

Originally he was a scion from the Maruyama School. He was expelled from Õkyo's school due to insubordination to his teacher. Rosetsu started his own studio in 1781, after which Õkyo still supported him and recommended him to possible patrons. On a number of commissions the two still collaborated. Rosetsu also studied Zenga under Dokushû Reitai (17..-1798), a pupil of Hakuin.

Reference:
Shiba 2000
Robert Moes 1973
Nihon no Bijitsu 8-219
Rosenfield '99 pp. 64-65 (# 97-99)
Roberts p. 131
Araki pp. 2710-2712

Kien was the eldest son of Migawa Shuntô, a well-known scholar of Chinese literature and philosophy. He educated his two sons to become good Confucians and he even provided them with private teachers. Already at a young age both boys were well taught. Kien’s brother Nariakira (1738-79) became an outstanding student of Japanese national history. And Kien himself soon became better known as a Confucian scholar than his father. At the age of twenty-five Kien started to teach and about a year later, around 1760, he was in 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.

Kien studied painting with Mochizuki Gyokusen (1692-1755) first 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 public semi-annual Exhibition of New Calligraphies and Paintings at the Sôrin-ji in Kyoto. Here he presented the works of many of his friends and colleagues.
In 1805 he established a successful Confucian school in Kyoto, which attracted more than 3000 students, but its importance faded after his death two years later.

Reference:
Roberts p. 78
Araki p. 1892 ff.
Rosenfield B.54
Beerens p. 105 ff.

Availability: On Request