A Note on Watanabe Kazan’s views of Landscape painting
Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841) is well known as a samurai of clan Tahara,
a scholar of foreign knowledge (Rangaku), and a painter of Japanese Nanga
school Painting (or Bunjinga, literati painting). He is one of the most
outstanding painters of literati painting in the Edo period.
Kazan completed many scrolls of landscape painting, portraits, and birds
and flowers. His many sketch of landscape, persons, birds, flowers, fishes
and insects are very vivid.
Tenpo 10 (1839) Kazan was arrested by the guilt of judgment to the
shogunate. He confined himself into his house in Tahara from the time on
and there committed suicide after year and a half.
In many masterpieces, the works of themes from text of Confucianism
could be found especially in his later years.
We considerate the relationships between Kazan’s thoughts and works by
his diaries, letters, notes ,and Japanese or Chinese literature. There are many
discourses on painting in letters of answers (Kaiji Gohenji) to his friend
Tsubaki Chinzan. His discourses under influences of Chinese literati art
theory is very complex and difficult.
We will considerate furthermore to the theme of landscape painting and
sketch of actual view and his masterpiece《Senzan Bansui》.We can
understand the special features and new attempts of Kazan, together with
accomplishments of Japanese literati painting.
Furthemore, we can also discover here the artistic styles and his ideas
during the total life in the particular complicated circumstances of his
masters (Tani Buncho, Kaneko Kinryo, and others) and same generations in
Japanese literati painting, Landscape painting, sketch of actual view