The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures

Antique Japanese Gold Screen, Mt. Fuji by Kishi Ganku


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Paintings: Pre 1900: Item # 1356272

Please refer to our stock # ANR6412 when inquiring.
The Kura
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817-2 Kannonji Monzen-cho
Kamigyo-ku Kyoto 602-8385
tel.81-75-201-3497
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Mt. Fuji looms over the dark spotted ink landscape by Kishi Ganku painted on six broad panels of applied gold. The screen is 142 x 370 cm (56 x 145-1/2 inches). It has been completely restored utilizing the original frame and antique textiles for the borders. At that time several areas of damage gathered over the last two centuries were repaired without over-painting. Ink on applied gold foil, in a border of black silk patterned with pine boughs matching the pines on the scene but separated from it by a thin bead of kinrande-orange in a black lacquered frame. The screen is backed with sturdy cloth, and is an excellent example of his mature work. It is signed Echizen no Kami Ganku followed by two stamps. The lower stamp is visible, figure 34 in the book Ganku (1987). Although the photos seem to show blues and silvers in the background color, it is actually gold, and only a reflection of the blue from the strobe lights.
Kishi Ganku (1749 or 1756-1839) was the Edo period founder of the popular Kishi school of painting. Born in Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture, the former Kaga domain, little is known of his early career, but he came to Kyoto around 1773 where he quickly established a name for himself as a top painter, receiving Imperial commissions and patrons from the ruling classes, Samurai families and important business men. He was grantedan imperioal court position in 1804. He returned to Kanazawa in 1809, where he was made honorary governor of Echizen (Echizen no kami). However his longing for the stimulation of the capitol saw him return to Kyoto in 1813, where he would remain for most of the rest of his long life. He passed the torch to son Gantai (1782–1865), son-in-law Ganryo (1797–1852) and adopted son Renzan(1804–1859). He is held in the collection of the V&A, Ashmolean, New York Metropolitan, Chicago, the Walters, Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Freer among many many others.