Fish Market

Matsumura Goshun Japanese

Not on view

In this lively composition, a fish market or fish auction is taking place in the out of doors. A crowd of thirty-one shouting and gesticulating figures, four holding fish, six with baskets, vie for the attention of marketers. Many appear animated, with expressive features and expressions. A rocky cliff face, partly obscured by mist, and a bamboo thicket are visible in the background; two rocks, painted with long, wet texture strokes, appear in the foreground.

Goshun is one of the most important painters of late eighteenth-early nineteenth century Japan. He is renowned as the founder of the Shijō school, itself generally allied with the Maruyama school established by the “realist” painter Maruyama Ōkyo (1733–1795). Goshun began his career as an artist when he left his prestigious job as an official at the government mint to study painting; the artists who influenced his development included his teacher Yosa Buson (1716–1783), one of the great masters of the Nanga school, and Ōkyo, whose studio he joined in 1787.

Fish Market, Matsumura Goshun (Japanese, 1752–1811), Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, Japan

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