Buson is recognized in Japanese literary history as one of the country's greatest poets. He was also an accomplished painter who revolutionized the 18th-century "scholar-painting" school by introducing new subject matter and a more personalized brush style. Like most literati painters who were schooled in the Chinese classics, his early paintings invariably depicted historical subjects in a precise manner. By the 1770s, however, he developed a looser, more expressive brush manner distinctly his own. Although undated, the painting's exuberant style suggests that this snow scene dates from that time. One of the artist's seals reads: "flung ink gives life to brush lines."
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