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Tani Bunchô, 1763-1840
Snow-covered Tree
1838

Although Tani Bunchô is often associated with bunjinga painters, he was remarkably eclectic and could paint in many of the styles popular in the early nineteenth century. At various points in his career, he studied Kanô, Tosa, and even Western style art. His skills were in high demand throughout his career and he received commissions from a variety of sources.

Snow-covered Tree exemplifies a type of painting sometimes referred to as kyôga, or "crazy painting." It is expressive to the point of abstraction and conveys an intuitive sense of the subject. Like the hatsuboku landscape paintings in this gallery, kyôga works are spontaneous, and display an aesthetic of virtuosity. Kyôga, however, sometimes pushed these considerations to an extreme. Many kyôga artists worked when they were heavily intoxicated.

Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gift of Ruth and Sherman Lee; 96.15.1

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