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25.2 Tomita Keisen (1879-1936)
Nihonga
Wood vendors at the upper course of the Shiromizugawa in Yamagata prefecture
Signed:
Seals: Keisen
Technique: sumi on silk 25.5 x 34.8
Mounting: dark grey gold brocade and light grey damask
bone rollers, 119 x 49.7
Box: authorized by Tomita Hôshi (dates unknown)

Shiromizugawa river in Yamagata-ken

After an artistic search involving a number of painting styles, Keisen found his own independent manner with a mixture of styles and became one of the leaders of the Kyoto Nihonga painters.
Born in Fukuoka in a family of noodle makers, Keisen began his painting studies at the age of twelve. He started with the Kanô style of painting, some years later he moved to the Nanga style with a former student of Hine Taizan (1813-1869). Unhappy with the traditional approaches he went to Kyoto and in 1898 became a pupil of Tsuji Kakô (1870-1931). In September 1904 he returned to Fukuoka where he studied the work the Zen monk Sengai Gibon (1750-1837).
In 1905 he started to study Heian Buddhist painting and travelled to Taiwan and China. In 1911 he met one of the disciples of haiku poet Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) and became interested in haiga painting.
Invited by Yokoyama Taikan (1868-1958) , Keisen was one of the very few Kyoto-based members of the Nihon Bijutsuin, the Japan Art Institute.

Reference:
Roberts p. 181-182
Araki p. 2234; 20th p. 267-268
Conant p. 326 (# 67-68)
Berry & Marioka pp. 176-177 (# 46-51)
Berry '01 p. 164 (# 93)

Availability: On Request