Monday, December 7, 2009

Imaginary wandering

(click to enlarge)
(Kano Motonobu, The Four Accomplishments, mid-16th century)

Similar to the image above, a multi-panel screen at the Met depicting the four seasons and attributed to Kano Chokichi, was accompanied by this label:
Inspired by Chinese landscape scrolls in which the mind travels through time and space along rivers and mountain paths, this monumental landscape transforms an interior into a vast space for imaginary wandering. The quintessential Chinese theme of the scholar-recluse attuned to the natural world and enjoying its unsullied beauty reflected Confusian values and the contemplative bent of Japan’s military ruling class. A timeless quality is achieved here by a seasonal progression from spring and summer at right to autumn and winter at left. The elevated tone, strong delineation of forms, and rhythmically patterned brushstroke corroborate the work’s attribution to a Kano painter named Chokichi, who is traditionally believed to have studied with Motonobu (1476-1559).

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