Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/91

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Survey of Painting


probably the work of "Shi Ten O" himself, also the copy of the portrait of a young prince by Kanaoka. The Hayashi collection (sold by auction in Paris in 1902) contained the seated figure of the Bodhisattva Jizo, probably that reproduced by Gonse (v. supra). Binyon[1] reproduces the beautiful full-length portrait of the minister Sugawara Michizane, which is pronouncedly Chinese in character.

But still greater renown than his paintings ever brought him accrued to Kanaoka as the founder of the first national school of Japanese painting, the Kose-riu, so called from his family name. In Japanese a sharp distinction is made between schools (riu) and styles (ye, sometimes erroneously written e or we). Schools (riu) arise through the propagation of definite methods of painting within certain families, which are further strengthened by the adoption of strangers who assume the name of the clan; in several cases (dealt with below) they have prolonged their activity through a series of centuries. Ye (community in style) is, on the contrary, a quite loose and external connection, corresponding exactly to our idea of style. Until Kanaoka's time there were, as has been said, three styles of painting—the Chinese (Kara-ye), the Korean (Korai-ye), both of which may be grouped together, and the Buddhistic (Butsu-ye). Painting was a refined pastime, indulged in by priestly and noble amateurs.[2] Kanaoka was the first, in the year 880, to found a school of professional painters which was at the same time a national school of painting; its basis was principally Buddhistic, and it stood under the influence of the Chinese Tang school. As he himself belonged to the highest nobility, so the aristocratic character was always preserved in the school or clan of painters that he founded, the Kose-riu. This holds good for all painters and schools that arose subsequently until the sixteenth century. It was not till then that one of the bourgeois succeeded in

  1. Painting in the Far East, frontispiece.
  2. Gierke, p. 23.c