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A superb Silk landscape by Akamatsu Unrei enclosed in the original signed double wooden box (niju-bako) titled ChikusoYusei-Ga. The title and style of the buildings indicate this is likely the Yusei retirement home of Iwakura Tomomi in Northern Kyoto, designated a National Historic Site in 1932. A narrow path hedged in soft greens leads to the rustic cluster of buildings with their thatched roofs lost in a sea of bamboo, the scene rising to precipitous mountains afar, a waterway in the distance perhaps Takaragaike pond. The scene is performed in a dream-like quality, inviting the viewer in for a moment of serenity. Warm in summer but a cool respite from the stifling city life a few miles to the south. Everything about this scroll speaks of quality, from the intensity of the painting itself, the silk canvas used, the border cloth, solid ivory rollers, and the kiri-wood box with hinged brass handle allowing it to be pulled easily from the red lacquered wooden outer case. It is 50 x 216 cm (19-1/2 x 85 inches) and is in overall fine condition, with some faint foxing.
Akamatsu Unrei (1893-1958) was born in Osaka, and apprenticed under Koyama Unsen and later the famous Nanga-ka Himejima Chikugai. At a relatively young age he exceeded the talents of his forbearers, finding a new way of looking at Nanga all his own. His paintings were often submitted at the Bunten/Teiten national exhibitions and he was a member of the Nihon Nanga-in. Held in the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo among others