The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures

Robert Mangold has been working with Japanese antiques since 1995 with an emphasis on ceramics, Paintings, Armour and Buddhist furniture.
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Scholars at Liesure, Scroll by Tessai, Hyakunen, Chokunyu…

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 1900: Item # 1372683

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The Kura
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817-2 Kannonji Monzen-cho
Kamigyo-ku Kyoto 602-8385
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A most exciting find, a scroll by five of the greatest scholar-painters of the Meiji period, Tanomura Chokunyu, Suzuki Hyakunen, Tomioka Tessai, Nyoi Sanjin and Yamanaka Shinten-o; all of whom resided in Kyoto during the Meiji period. Ink on paper in a brown cloth border befitting the Daoist figures. It comes in an annotated by by Tessai from 1911. The scroll is 29-1/4 x 75-1/2 inches (74 x 192 cm) and is in excellent condition.
Nyoi Sanjin (Tani Tetsuomi, 1822-1905) was born the son of a Doctor serving the powerful Ii clan of the Hikone fief on the Tokaido road between Kyoto and Tokyo. Trained as a samurai and a doctor (including Western medicine in Nagasaki), he sided with the imperialist cause during the troubled times of the 1850s and 60s while working as a Doctor in Hikone. He served in governmental posts after the restoration of the Emperor in 1867, retiring to Kyoto in the 1880s.
Suzuki Hyakunen (1825-1891) was born in Kyoto and studied under Yokoyama Kakei. He served as a professor at the Kyoto Prefectural School of Painting (modern University of Art) and thus mentor to many young artists of his day, including his own son Suzuki Shonen. Works by him are held in the V&A, Ashmolean, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Philadelphia Museum of Art, University of Michigan as well as a host of Domestic institutions.
Tanomura Chokunyu (1814-1907) was born in Oita (the Oka Feif) and studied initially under Okamoto Baisetsu before moving to paint under the famous literatus Tanomura Chikuden (1777-1835), who adopted him as a son and had a very strong influence on the young artist. Upon Chikudens death he also studied briefly under Oshio Chusai (1792-1837) then finally ventured out on his own upon that teachers passing. He moved to Kyoto, where he helped found the Kyoto Municipal School of painting and eventually withdrew from the world, becoming an Obaku Zen Monk in 1902.
Tomioka Tessai (1837-1924)was a scholar artist trained from age seven in the traditional Confucian manner. After the death of his father he was apprenticed to a Shinto shrine, and later was forced to escape the capitol to Kyushu to avoid arrest for anti-governmental actions he had taken on part of the Imperial cause. Here he began serious study of Literati painting and furthered his scholarly research. Upon returning to Kyoto he was befriended by and moved to work under Otagaki Rengetsu, from whom he was heavily influenced. He helped to establish the Nihon Nanga-In and held a number of important positions, culminating in being appointed the official painter of the Emperor and a member of the Imperial Art Academy; the highest honor in Japanese Art circles. He is represented in innumerable important collections. Information on this important person is readily available, for more see Scholar Painters of Japan by Cahill (1972), Roberts Dictionary, or a quick internet search will find plenty of reading. He is held in the Tokyo National Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Kyoto, V&A etc…
Yamanaka Shinten-o (Seittsu 1822-1885) was born near Nagoya in the village of Higashiura, the second son of a wealthy farming family. After studying in Osaka with scholar Shinozaki Shochiku (1781-1851), he moved after to Kyoto where he became a member of the anti-governmental movement supporting restoration f the Emperor. Following the repression of 1858 when many opposition figures were arrested and executed, Shinten’o went to Ise and studied with Saito Setsudo (1791-1865) for three years before returning to Kyoto. He was an active supporter of imperial loyalists, providing food and money to the troops fighting to establish the new regime. In recognition of his support he was appointed to a series of governmental posts. In 1873 he quit the world of politics to begin a quiet life of scholarly pursuits in the Shimogamo area of Kyoto and established a sprawling villa in Arashiyama so well regarded was that the Meiji Emperor stayed there during his 1877 visit to Kyoto.