[Home] [About] [Events] [Gallery] [Tale of Genji] [Contact] [Feedback]

[Albums] [Folding Screens] [Hand Scrolls] [Hanging Scrolls] 

 
 

Kanô Tsunenobu, 1636-1713
Hatsuboku (Splashed Ink) Landscape
Ink on paper

Kanô Masanobu (1434-1530), the founder of the tradition that now bears his name, was the first secular painter appointed head of the shogun's official academy. By tradition, Zen monk-painters held the position prior to Masanobu's appointment. With the patronage of the shoguns, who governed Japan from 1185 to 1868, and a highly organized workshop and apprenticeship system, Masanobu and many successive generations of Kanô artists effectively monopolized official shogunal and imperial commissions for three hundred years. Kanô Tsunenobu, the painter of this hatsuboku (splashed ink) landscape and a direct descendent of Kanô Masanobu, rose to head the Kobikichô branch of the Kanô school in the early 1700s and became the court painter in attendance at the Imperial household in Kyoto in 1704.

Known primarily for their large screen and mural paintings, Kanô artists often accepted commissions to decorate entire residences.

Tsunenobu was no exception. The Ackland collection includes an important example of his work on a large scale: a pair of folding screens depicting the theme "Seven Sages in a Bamboo Grove," on display in the next gallery. By comparison, this hatsuboku landscape represents a much more intimate viewing experience. Tsunenobu, like most artists of the Kanô school, was well versed in a variety of brushstroke techniques. He seems intent on displaying many of these in this small work. Compared to Sesson's hatsuboku painting, Tsunenobu's virtuosity with the brush almost overshadows the landscape image itself.

The few wealthy patrons who could afford to commission an artist of Tsunenobu's stature often had large estates consisting of many buildings. Japanese residential architecture usually provides an alcove, known as a tokonoma in each room. Paintings such as this would be displayed in the tokonoma for the enjoyment of those using the room.

Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ackland Fund; 64.18.1

 [Home] [About] [Events] [Gallery] [Tale of Genji] [Contact] [Feedback]

[Albums] [Folding Screens] [Hand Scrolls] [Hanging Scrolls] 

Copyright (c) 2000, Mayumi Ishida, All Rights Reserved Last Updated: April 11, 2000