Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/105

This page has been validated.



is Sesshu, very likely a pupil of Shubun. He lived from 1420 to 1507, acquired about 1460 the art of painting in China itself, and then established himself in 1469 in the temple Unkokuji. He is universally extolled as the greatest artist of Japanese antiquity. He also is distinguished for his landscapes, one of which Gonse (i. 194) has reproduced. Binyon (pl. 14) reproduces "Jurojin, the Genius of Old Age," by Sesshu, drawn in the manner of the classic period. According to Chinese custom, he used chiefly Indian ink which he laid on with a bold brush, and only occasionally enlivened his work by the addition of a little colour. However productive as a painter, he is chiefly distinguished for the number of pupils he trained, a number never equalled by any artist before or since. One of his pupils was Shugetsu, from whom Gonse (i. 194) has reproduced a crow, which, however, is, according to Fenollosa, hardly a hundred years old. Anderson (pl. 18) reproduces a picture of an Indian priest, which makes a very favourable impression. The third important painter of this Chinese school founded by Josetsu, is Kano Masanobu (1453–1490), a scion of the Fujiwara stock; he was especially influenced by Sesshu, but did not equal his master in originality; on the other hand, he made an extensive reputation for himself by the foundation of the Kano school, which was destined to a long period of activity. One of his landscapes is reproduced by Anderson.[1] Mention must be made of Sesson as an admirable landscape-painter of the period, in the Chinese impressionist style. Binyon (pl. 15) reproduces one of his landscapes, executed in Indian ink.

The foundation of the Kano school, upholding the Chinese style, in the second half of the fifteenth century, was an event closely connected with the political development of the country. Whereas the court of the Mikado in Kioto, and with it the courtly and national Tosa school, was gradually being thrust

  1. Pictorial Arts, pl. 19. See also Binyon, pl. 16.