Landscape in the style of Shen Zhou

Artist: Nakanishi Koseki (1807-1884) Shen Zhou 沈周 (1427-1509)
Historical period(s)
Edo period or Meiji era, third quarter 19th century
Ink on paper
H x W: 47.3 x 76.3 cm (18 5/8 x 30 1/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of the Charlottesville/Albermarle Foundation for the Encouragement of the Arts in memory of Harold P. Stern
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

boat, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kakemono, landscape, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), mountain, water, WWII-era provenance

To 1977
Dr. Frederick Baekeland, New York City, to 1977 [1]

Charlottesville/Albemarle Foundation for the Encouragement of the Arts, Charlottesville, VA, purchased from Frederick Baekeland in 1977 [2]

From 1977
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charlottesville/Albemarle Foundation for the Encouragement of the Arts in 1977 [3]


[1] Frederick Baekeland sold this object to the Charlottesville/Albemarle Foundation for the Encouragement of the Arts, Virginia for the purpose of donating it to the Freer Gallery of Art in memory of Dr. Harold P. Stern (see Curatorial Note 5 in object record).

[2] See note 1.

[3] The object was transferred from the Freer Study Collection to the Freer Permanent Collection on March 3, 1978.

Previous Owner(s)

Charlottesville/Albemarle Foundation for the Encouragement of the Arts
Dr. Frederick Baekeland


Japanese painters of the Nanga school admired and followed the styles and cultural ideals of Chinese scholar-painters. During the nineteenth century, Nanga painters were able to study genuine Chinese paintings rather than the illustrated print books that had served as painting manuals for eighteenth-century artists.

In this painting, Nakanishi Koseki, who pursued his study of painting in the Osaka-Kyoto region, closely followed the style of the Chinese painter Shen Zhou (1427-1509).  In Koseki's inscription, written above the landscape, he praised Shen Zhou's vigorous and free brushwork, which he strove to follow in his portrayal of a scholar approaching a secluded cottage by boat.

The spontaneity of Koseki's brushwork and his masterly control of ink tones closely resembles the work of his Chinese paragon.

Published References
  • Julia Murray. A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980. Exh. cat. Washington, 1979. cat. 57, p. 75.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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