Mountain Landscape

Traditionally attributed to Tenshō Shūbun Japanese

Not on view

In late medieval Kyoto, cultural elites in the circle of the Ashikaga shoguns were especially interested in Chinese ink paintings. They voraciously collected works by Chinese masters and commissioned Japanese painters to create works in the style of their Chinese forebears. The compositions that make up this pair of screens are inspired by the Southern Song Chinese court painter Xia Gui (active ca. 1195–1230), whose works were highly prized in medieval Japan. Rock forms described with thick contour lines, textured by “axe-cut” brushstrokes and accented with “moss dots,” as well as paired foreground trees were immediately recognizable to the Japanese audience as elements of Xia Gui–style painting. Although later inscriptions by the painter Kano Yasunobu (1614–1685) name the original artist as the Kyoto painter Tenshō Shūbun, the paintings were
not actually created as a pair. Rather, they are a later combination of two separate works, both
by artists active shortly after Shūbun.

Mountain Landscape, Traditionally attributed to Tenshō Shūbun (Japanese, active 1414–before 1463), Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink and color on paper, Japan

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2015.300.51.1, right screen, overall