Kanō school

Kanō school

The nihongo|Kanō school|狩野派|Kanō-ha is one of the most famous schools of Japanese painting.

It was founded by Kanō Masanobu (1434–1530), a contemporary of Sesshū and student of Shūbun. Some scholars write that though Masanobu mastered elements of Chinese painting and of Shubun's style, he was overall mediocre and lacked the originality and creativity of his teacher. Nevertheless, Masanobu became an official painter in the Shogun's court, and it was this lofty position which granted the Kanō school influence and fame. The artists who followed him improved upon his style and methods, and within a generation the school flourished.

The school's works are the paragons of Momoyama period art, and while most schools specialize in one style, medium, or form, the Kanō school excels at two. Kanō painters often worked on a large scale, painting nature scenes of birds, plants, water, or other animals on sliding doors or screens, covering the background with gold leaf. Some of the most famous examples of these can be found at the Nijō Castle in Kyoto.

The school is equally renowned, however, for its monochrome ink-on-silk landscapes. Kanō ink painters composed very flat pictures but they balanced impeccably detailed realistic depictions of animals and other subjects in the foreground with abstract, often entirely blank, clouds and other background elements. The use of negative space to indicate distance, and to imply mist, clouds, sky or sea is drawn from traditional Chinese modes and is used beautifully by the Kanō artists. It is interesting, perhaps, to note the very bold brush strokes and thus bold images that are obtained in what is often a very subtle and soft medium. It is also interesting to note the contrast between these expertly painted monochrome ink paintings and the almost gaudy but no less beautiful gold-on-paper forms these artists created for walls and screens.

Artists of the Kanō School

* Kanō Masanobu (1434–1530): the school's founder
* Oguri Sotan (1413–81)
* Kanō Motonobu (1476–1559): son of Masanobu
* Kanō Eitoku (1543–1590)
* Kanō Hideyoru (d. 1557)
* Kanō Sanraku (1559–1635)
* Kanō Sansetsu (1589–1651): the leader of Kyogano, an offshoot of the Kanō school, based in Kyoto
* Kanō Eino (1631–1697)
* Kanō Tan'yū (1602–1674)
* Kanō Tanshin (1653-1718)
* Kanō Hōgai
* Hashimoto Gahō and yualll
* Watanabe Shiko (1683-1755)

External links

* [http://www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/k/kanouha.htm JANNUS / Kanouha]

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