Apr 4, 2006

West Lake

West Lake



Ike Taiga 池大雅

(Japanese, 1723–1776)

Hanging scroll; ink and light color on paper

Painting: 58 x 133 cm (22 13/16 x 52 3/8 in.); Mounted: 170.5 x 140.3 cm (67 1/8 x 55 1/4 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1970.69


Did you know?

Among Taiga's sources for his paintings were images he studied in Chinese wood-block–printed books.


West Lake near Hangzhou, China, has been home to revered poets who immortalized it in their poetry. Tang dynasty poet Bai Juyi (772–846) lived in its vicinity, and Song dynasty poet Lin Bu (967–1028) led a reclusive life on Solitary Hill near the lake. Landscape paintings of West Lake gained in popularity in Japan as early as the 1400s. The distinctive, arched bridges connecting small islands in the lake identify the subject. Ike Taiga was among the first generation of Japanese artists to emulate Chinese scholars who painted as amateurs and gifted their work to friends and colleagues.

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