Sep 28, 2010

Views of Xiao and Xiang Rivers

Views of Xiao and Xiang Rivers



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Tani Bunchō 谷文晁

(Japanese, 1763–1841)

Four album leaves remounted as hanging scrolls; ink and color on paper

Overall: 129 x 67 cm (50 13/16 x 26 3/8 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1980.188



By the early age of 25, Tani Bunchō had already mastered the literati painting style of the Ming dynasty Wu school. These 1788 paintings of four of the Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers show a style that differs from not only the Southern Song-inspired mode of Muromachi ink painting but also that of the Kano school. Inscriptions by the Confucian scholar Ichigawa Kansai (1749–1820) on Returning Sails from a Distant Shore, and the inscriptions by other elites on the other three scrolls, suggest that these Wu school-style paintings were possibly ordered by newly prominent Edo period Confucian scholars. Bunchō’s original set of eight paintings seems to have been initially made as album leaves that were later remounted as hanging scrolls.

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