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The artist Chikuto was a native of Nagoya. In his youth he studied Chinese paintings in a local private collection. His interest in literature and painting took him to Kyoto, to which he moved in 1803. There he worked in association with the eminent scholars, calligraphers, and painters of the Nanga school, who drew their inspiration from the lives and work of the literary men of China. Chikuto's interest in Chinese painting extended to theory as well as to practice, and he published treatises on painting as well as illustrated books.
This pair of landscape screens, painted in 1843, when the artist was in his late sixties, reveals Chikuto's mastery of the techniques derived from Chinese painting. The forms of mountains, trees, open water, and waterfalls are created by repeated patterns of brush strokes. Dense configurations of lofty mountains open to spacious views across mountains allude to the ideal of an independent life devoted to individual literary and artistic pursuits that was held by both Japanese and Chinese scholar-painters. Chikuto's inscription reveals that he is painting his conception of the work of Yuan dynasty Chinese painter Li Kan (1245-1320), who is principally known for his paintings of bamboo.
- Collection Area(s)
- Japanese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
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