Online Collection

Collections



Asian Art Museum Logo
West Lake in spring
与謝蕪村筆 西湖春景図 一幅 絹本着色 江戸時代 18世紀
Place of Origin: Japan
Historical Period: Edo period (1615-1868)
Object Name: Hanging scroll
Materials: Ink and colors on silk
Dimensions: H. 52 1/2 in x W. 24 5/8 in, H. 133.2 cm x W. 62.5 cm (image); H. 85 3/4 in x W. 31 3/8 in, H. 217.3 cm x W. 79.6 cm (overall)
Credit Line: Gift and Purchase from the Harry G.C. Packard Collection Charitable Trust in honor of Dr. Shujiro Shimada; The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: 1991.80
On Display: No

Description

Label:

The artist Yosa Buson is well known as a haiku poet, but he was also a (largely self-taught) master of the Chinese painting style known in Japanese as Nanga (literally, "southern painting," referring to China's Southern school of painting), or bunjinga ("literati painting").

This scroll painting depicts one section, perhaps the northern shore, of the iconic West Lake of Hangzhou, China. West Lake, a freshwater lake surrounded by mountains on three sides, was a popular subject for both Chinese and Japanese painters because of its formidable beauty and enduring literary associations. The artist distinguishes this specific spot of West Lake by incorporating two arched bridges—which viewers at the time would have recognized as the Bai and Su Causeways that divide the lake.

Like most of the Japanese Nanga artists who painted scenes of West Lake, Buson never actually laid eyes on his inspiration. This was due to the self-imposed isolation policy of the Japanese government between 1639 and 1854, which prohibited all Japanese from leaving the country. The impossibility of actually viewing West Lake inspired artists like Buson to evoke the essence of the place rather than its exact appearance.


More Information

Inscriptions: Two seals: Choko and Shunsei
Marks: Sha Shunsei
Exhibition History: "Japanese Paintings from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", organized by Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc. (Nikkei), Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya (3/2/1995-4/9/1995), Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo (4/20/1995-5/9/1995), Takashimaya Grand Hall, Kyoto (6/30/1995-7/11/1995), Sogo Museum of Art, Yokohama (8/2/1995-9/17/1995)
"For the New Century: Japanese Treasures from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Japan Society, New York, 3/22/2000 - 7/9/2000
Label:

The artist Yosa Buson is well known as a haiku poet, but he was also a (largely self-taught) master of the Chinese painting style known in Japanese as Nanga (literally, "southern painting," referring to China's Southern school of painting), or bunjinga ("literati painting").

This scroll painting depicts one section, perhaps the northern shore, of the iconic West Lake of Hangzhou, China. West Lake, a freshwater lake surrounded by mountains on three sides, was a popular subject for both Chinese and Japanese painters because of its formidable beauty and enduring literary associations. The artist distinguishes this specific spot of West Lake by incorporating two arched bridges—which viewers at the time would have recognized as the Bai and Su Causeways that divide the lake.

Like most of the Japanese Nanga artists who painted scenes of West Lake, Buson never actually laid eyes on his inspiration. This was due to the self-imposed isolation policy of the Japanese government between 1639 and 1854, which prohibited all Japanese from leaving the country. The impossibility of actually viewing West Lake inspired artists like Buson to evoke the essence of the place rather than its exact appearance.


Inscriptions: Two seals: Choko and Shunsei
Marks: Sha Shunsei
Exhibition History: "Japanese Paintings from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", organized by Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc. (Nikkei), Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya (3/2/1995-4/9/1995), Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo (4/20/1995-5/9/1995), Takashimaya Grand Hall, Kyoto (6/30/1995-7/11/1995), Sogo Museum of Art, Yokohama (8/2/1995-9/17/1995)
"For the New Century: Japanese Treasures from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Japan Society, New York, 3/22/2000 - 7/9/2000