Landscapes - Sansui Ga
scrolls show the Japanese artists immense skill with painting of
landscapes and the feeling to a room will depend on the background
Sansui (Sansuiga) Landscape painting:
Sansuiga (landscape painting) is a genre of
the picture which developed in China. san means yama
(mountains), sui means mizu (river), ga means a
picture. The style of landscape painting tried to create a reproduction
of real scenery, but there is much "created scenery" "image scenery"
which constituted scenery elements such as the mountains / trees / rocks
/ rivers to enhance the realism of the scene.
Although Japanese scenery paintings were influenced by Chinese art
there was not a word for "Fukeiga (the Chinese word for
Fukei or scenery)". The development of the landscape picture assumed
a natural view of the scene and was called "a landscape painting".
However, while taking in such techniques, a lot of Japanese painters of
landscape base their images on a sense of beauty , Wabi Sabi-a
harmonious setting and design, rather than the conventional
Chinese landscape image.
Sansui(=Sansuiga) (Landscape painting) :
Sansuiga (landscape painting) is a genre of the picture
which developed in China through the early Sung Dynasty and when that
arrived in the 19th Century started to be more representative of
traditional scenic views. Often hung in homes at certain times of the
year, the Landscape painting of China usually had descriptions or poems
about the view.
The word san means yama (mountains), sui means
mizu (river), ga means a picture. There is the work which
aimed at reproduction of real scenery, but there is also "created
scenery" "image scenery" which constituted scenery elements such as the
mountains / trees / rocks / rivers by realism again. Artistic licence.
Taking an existing scene and enhancing it in a way that would attract
the buyer to place this on the wall of their home. but more than this it
was a representation of a spiritual place. Mountains where spirits
reigned, hidden valleys full of myths and legends.
The art of Japan has a powerful Chinese influence. There was originally
no word for simply "Fukeiga (Fukei=scenery-ga=Picture)".
The picture which assumed a representation of natural scenery was simply
called "a landscape painting". Originally "Sansuiga
(landscape painting)" began as spiritual world expression to be based on
a legendary Chinese hermit with miraculous powers of thought.. On the
other hand, the Meiji era began, and the words of "scenery" became
established with the full-scale introduction of Western paintings. In "Fukeiga
(Scenery)",the eyes of the naturalism or realism assumed a form that
was different from a conventional "Sansuiga (landscape
painting)" the basis of the landscape scenery style of painting were
incorporated, and natural reproduction by a rational technique was aimed
at the subject matter of the art work.. However, while taking in such
techniques, some of the traditional Japanese landscape painting became
based on a sense of beauty of the subject matter rather than the actual
image itself. So floating clouds and misty forests, cool waterfalls and
scented glades became the holy grail of the Japanese Landscape painter
of scrolls.. The scroll therefore does not have to be as detailed as a
western landscape but rather an impression, a feeling of what the viewer
is looking at. A successful landscape scroll delivers this. The
waterfall should make you feel cool ad the forest should suggest the
smell of damp leaves and birdsong and the mountain should make you feel
that you become part of the birds flying below the cold peaks.
Viewing a Japanese landscape scroll relies on the viewer relaxing and
becoming one with the scene. For more
information read this-click
The magnificent antique hand painted works of art show the
Japanese style of painting at its very best. Some of these scrolls are
very old and I have spent many years researching and locating the very
best in genuine Antique Scrolls. In a few cases I have had scroll mounts
restored on the scrolls where these have deteriorated, However the
restoration has been done by professional Scroll restorers and the
original paintings have not been altered in any way. I also make my own
scrolls and these are in the modern scrolls section
Maeda Ichiou (1890-1939) Born in Gifu prefecture, his other
name was Kenichi and was taught by Yamamoto Sunkyo. He lived
until the age of 49.
The seal (seal script can be hard to decipher) but its
more like a short line poem of the uguisu or a Bush Warbler,
which relates the the artist's name Ichiou which is
'a bush warbler'.
This is a absolutely beautiful Sansui ga, landscape, of a
waterfall through autumn leaves. The light that has been
captured by this artist is quite stunning and the balance of
the subject has been extremely well done. Flocks of birds
fly through the leaves and in front of the waterfall and the
entire image is full of life and movement. Painted on silk
this Sansui ga has all the elements that you would like to
see in a landscape painting . The mounts are in very good
condition. On a personal note this has, without doubt, been
one of my favourite scrolls in this genre. 70.1z23.1 inches
TOREI Mountain Stream fisherman with Waka Poem 50.7x 22.8 Being
remounted with a new box £175
Torii, Kiyotada VII
(1875 - 1941)
was a painter and printmaker. He was born in Tokyo in 1875 as the son of
Kiyosada Torii. (Torii VI). His original name was Saito Chōkichi. His
adopted son, Saito Akira was the famous print artist Torii Kotondo
He studied Tosa painting under Kawabe Mitate in 1903. The year after
that he started as a printmaker for several theaters, producing actorsí
portraits and advertisements. His Kabuki prints were published by Oana
Shūjirō at Shūbisha. He also produced war prints during the
Another well-known student of Kiyotada Torii was Ueno Tadamasa, who was
authorised by the Torii family to use the name of Torii Tadamasa in
Nachi-no-Otaki are also known as the Number one Falls-Ichi no Otaki
. This is a very atmospheric image that reminds me in some ways of the
great glacier shifts which created the magnificent waterfalls of
Yellowstone National Park and Yosemite and Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite.
Similar landscapes are in Japan deep in the mountains and his is an
older image of the famous
and the water from these mighty falls create lakes of pure fresh
mountain water which has always been an attraction for the Japanese. We
are waiting on the box for this scroll.
Background to the subject of this Scroll:
The Nachi Primeval Forest, is a place of mountain god worship. Nachi-no-Otaki / Ichi no Otaki Falls, 133 meters high.
The name comes from Mount Nachi, however as this is the biggest
waterfall in Japan it is also affectionately known as Ichi No, (Number
one) OTaki, (of all Waterfalls). Ichi no Otaki.
In the Mt. Nachi-san area is the Kumano Nachi-taisha Shrine. This has five
Shinto buildings called "Kumano-Gongen" structure,
which are very important cultural properties of Japan and are
architecturural examples from the 8th through 10th century. Other places worth
a visit include the Seiganto-ji Temple with a vermilion three-storied
pagoda that has now become a Mt. Nachi-san's symbol, and the Hiryu-jinja Shrine
where the holy
go to worship the Nachi-no-Otaki Falls, also known as "Ichi-no-taki", as
what symbolises the divine spirit. The three-storied pagoda of the Seiganto-ji Temple was reconstructed in 1972, and its viewing
platform area affords
a full view of the Nachi-no-Otaki Falls.Kumano
mountain, with its slopes covered by a primeval forest of luxuriant
evergreen trees, is about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) inland from the Sea
of Kumano. Cascading down between the peaks, the Nachi River runs over
48 waterfalls. Nachi Fall or Ichi-no-Taki,
is the largest of these. The great Ichi-no-Taki, where in a
13-meter-wide flow, one ton of water drops straight down for 133 meters
(436 feet) every second, rivals the Kegon Fall at Nikko and the Fukuroda
Fall in Ibaraki Prefecture as the most beautiful waterfall in Japan.
Nearby, said to be the first place to have enshrined and revered Nachi
Fall, is the Nachi Shrine, one of the three Kumano Grand Shrines.
Yosemite: Bridalveil Upper Falls
Click any for a bigger picture
An evocative and very nicely
painted scroll of a winter mountain landscape Sansui Ga.
This is a very long scroll more suitable for a stair well or
tall hallway. The width is modest at just under 24
inches and the length is just under 87 inches. The silk
mounts are original and in good condition and the Haiku,
signature and Chop stamp are also clear. The scroll dates
from the 1950's
Mountain Village in Snow 86.6 x
23.7 £175 including Box.
If you would like a big
scroll I am also restoring another large scroll of an old
pine and that length is around the same but the width is 32
inches. From a painting done for a screen door This 18th
century painting on hand made rice paper of an old pine
branch with gold highlights sprayed like
lit. sprinkled picture)
mounted onto new silks with
period Scroll ends. This will be ready around the end of May
Pines and Plum Blossom at Arashiyama Mountain in Kyoto Painted in 1960
Arashiyama is an exclusive district on the western outskirts of Kyoto,
It also refers to the mountain across the Oi River which forms a
backdrop to the district.
£175 including Box
is a pleasant, touristy district at the outskirts of Kyoto.
Its landmark is the wooden (now partially concrete)
Togetsukyo Bridge with forested Mount Arashiyama as
There are many things to see and do in the Arashiyama area.
Tenryuji, a leading Zen temple, shops, cafes and restaurants
are found in the district's busy center around Togetsukyo
Bridge and Keifuku Arashiyama Station.
North of the central area, there are bamboo groves and a
residential district with several small temples, scattered
along the base of the wooded mountains. The area with its
rural feel is best explored on foot, by rental bicycle
(around 700 Yen per day) or on a rickshaw (around 8000 Yen
for 30 minutes and 2 persons).
Another pleasant thing to do is taking a two hour boat tour
down Hozu River. The river flows through an idyllic,
forested valley before reaching urban Kyoto at the
Togetsukyo Bridge. Alternatively, you can enjoy views of the
valley from the Sagano Romantic Train.
Arashiyama is particularly beautiful and busy during the
cherry blossom and autumn leaf seasons.
Fuchin Weights attach on the scroll ends to keep the scroll flat
against the wall .
SHUNPOU painted this scroll of an old Watermill 73.8 x21.3
Subtle colouring painted delicately on Silk makes this a very warm
picture, The silk mounts have been perfectly matched and the scroll is
full of movement and energy. £165
Waterfall Sansui ga
fishing for Unagi on a summer evening
scene by scroll artist Kouzan painted late 20th century. Capturing the
waterfall in the distance in a late Sunner evening with the lamps of the
hut glowing and the reflection of the moonlight in the great waterfall
up in the mountains. This reminded me of Angel Falls. Fishermen catching
eels, Unagi, in the river at night, the best time for this
delicacy. It's a Japanese custom to eat unagi on "doyo no ushinohi"
in the summer. Including Box,
Thatched house in the Mountains A beautiful study of a farm in the
mountains. The large thatched house is the grain store and would
also be the livestock shelter in winter. Nestled under
mountains this peaceful and evocative scene is a lovely example of
Scroll Art with delicate colours still fresh after half a century.
With its own box, £175
Pines on a mountain side 1930 78 x 25 Very beautiful
with original watered design silk mounts. Including box £185
Notes on Painter
Hashimoto Gaho (1835 - 1908)
Gaho was born in Edo, he was a son of Hashimoto Ohara who was the
painter retained by the Kawagoe clan. Infancy
name; Taro later 長卿. Different pen name;克己斎・酔月画生
Yotsuki . He became a disciple of Kano Shosen.
On the same date, Kano Hogai, Gaho's lifelong friend, also became a
disciple of Tadanobu
. In 1897 he worked
with Ernest Fenollosa and Okamura Tenshin and became the first
professor of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.(the
former name of Tokyo University of the Arts (Tokyo
Geijutu Daigaku)). He also established "Nihon Bijutsu In"(The
Japan Art Institute- the art organization establised by
Okakura Tenshin and Hashimoto Gaho in 1898)
He was teacher to many fine artists including Hishida Shunso,
Yokoyama Taikan, Shimomura Kanzan, Saigo Kogetsu, Kawai Gyokudo etc.
Later Gaho organised "Futaba kai" with Gyokudo and formed "Gaho kai".
a member of "Teishitsu gigein"(an artist who created arts and crafts
only for the Imperial Household in the Empire era.)
Autumn Landscape waterfall
This is an Art Deco Period Waterfall.72x23 from the 1930's. At this time
Japanese artists were looking to the west for ideas and this simple
composition is quite amazing in it's technique and understated beauty. It is
almost a Van Gogh image in some ways with a little of Sisley in the
styling.. In wonderful condition. With a box. £150
This is a stunning painting on Silk.
The detail is wonderful; and very impressionistic
Japanese Cedar Pine Forest by stream
The artist for this painting is Yuko and he painted this in the very early
part of the 1900's This has now been mounted onto a sympathetic
silk scroll with a fine silk covered box. £175
Rising sun and mountain TAIKAN YOKOYAMA.
He was a very famous painter1868-1958 58.3x25
However this is a hand made screen print from the early part of the
new silks and with a box. This scroll is £160
Twin Pines by Yuko
This was recently restored with completely new silk sections for
the scroll. The painting was untouched but incorporated into the new
scroll. With period wood ends and a period wood box, this late 19th
century landscape scroll is now a very beautiful work of art that
can continue to be be appreciated nearly 150 years after its
A beautiful painting with many delicate highlights and shadows.
Fully restored with new silk mounts and original wood scroll ends..
With its own box £175
Sansui Ga. 1910 Landscape with mountain forest created in Sumi -ink
painting Restored mounts with original scroll ends in wood
£175 including Box and postage
Twin Trees painted by Tokoku 47x18 ins.
With flashes of setting sun ,
this wonderful ink painting has many layers and shows great Japanese
impressionist techniques. This scroll painting from 1920 has been
with its period box
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