Forbidden to the Vulgar

Forbidden to the Vulgar

late 1800s-early 1900s

Gyokudo Uragami

(Japanese, 1745-1820)

Hanging scroll; ink on paper

With mount: 67.2 cm (26 7/16 in.); Painting only: 134.6 x 51.1 cm (53 x 20 1/8 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1964.367

Description

Gyokudo painted in the Nanga style (literary men's school of painting), originally influenced by 18th-century Chinese painting. Most of his landscapes are variations on the theme of tall mountains and remote huts. Note the spontaneity of the brushstrokes and how the dry, rough ink works with the texture of the paper. Born to an ancient samurai family, Gyokudo was trained in the Chinese classics and studied painting, poetry, and the koto (kind of zither). He devoted himself to art and music, painting, drinking, and playing the koto as he wandered about the country.

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