Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/111

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SURVEY OF PAINTING

41

were extremely simple and the treatment of his subject not very elaborate, but along with all his swift and bold sketchiness his work remained always powerful and stimulating. It was not so much his peculiar manner, which was no more than the ancient Chinese manner in general, as the individuality and distinction of his creations, that secured him his position in the school. Although he was esteemed perfect in all branches of pictorial representation, yet it was his landscapes that enjoyed the highest renown. Anderson[1] reproduces one of his "Eight Immortals" as well as "Tieh Kwai." Masanobu's brother, Utanosuke, was one of the greatest bird and flower painters.[2]

Through his alliance with a daughter of Mitsushige, at that time head of the Tosa school, Motonobu established a connection between the two rival schools, but with no new result. Each of the two schools maintained its individual character. This competition with the newly flourishing Chinese school had a good effect upon the Tosa school, which had been merely marking time. It was especially through Mitsunobu, the father of the above-mentioned Mitsushige, that new life was given to this school in the second half of the fifteenth century. His delicately outlined drawings enabled him to take up the challenge of the Kano school successfully.

From this Tosa school, towards the end of the sixteenth century, issued the artist who was the true founder of the popular genre-pictures which hitherto had been only occasionally cultivated—Iwasa Matahei, who lived from 1578 to 1650. He was the father of that national school which later found its chief expression in wood-engraving, and brought this form of art to full development and general diffusion. He began by being a pupil of Tosa Mitsunori, but later went over to the Kano school, and created for himself, about the year 1620 (according to Fenollosa), an individual style marked by expressive design

  1. Pictorial Arts, pls. 20 and 43.
  2. Binyon, pl. 17.