Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/106

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JAPANESE COLOUR-PRINTS

into the background, the reputation of the Shoguns was continually in the ascendant, they being in very close touch with China, then flourishing anew under the Ming dynasty. It was, therefore, quite natural that the school which was principally influenced by the Chinese should have its stronghold and support near the seat of the Shoguns in Yedo. This statement holds especially for the Kano school, which, as the acknowledged representative of the art favoured by the Shoguns, stood in opposition to the Tosa school, which was favoured by the imperial court, an opposition by no means hostile indeed, but sharp enough to stir the keenest rivalry on both sides. In contrast with the subtler method of the older school, which laid special stress on splendour of colouring, the newly arisen Kano school gave eloquent expression to the daring spirit of youth that reigned in the entourage of the Shoguns by the force and sublimity of its style, qualities to which its calligraphic black-and-white technique after the Chinese model naturally tended. Although there existed, as Duret well expresses it, the same reverential admiration in Japan toward the Chinese as was formerly shown by the Romans for the Greeks, yet the Japanese painters descended to no slavish dependence upon China, but constantly renewed, out of their lively love of Nature, their powers of new and original creation.

It is accounted the especial merit of Kano Motonobu, the second great master of this school, and the eldest son of Masanobu, that he not only represented scenes of court and heroic life, but also characters from daily life. He lived from 1476 to 1559. Although not quite the equal of his father, he attained lasting fame by giving to the Kano school a coherent academic organisation. Indeed, he is recognised as the true classic of the school, and when he received the honourable title of Ko-Hogen in his old age, was regarded with almost idolatrous reverence. The means he employed