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Biography of Japanese Painter

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Maruyama Okyo (1733 - 1795)

Portrait of Maruyama Ohkyo

Painter at the latter part of the Edo period.
Patriarch of the Maruyama school.


Okyo was born in Anoo village of Tanba Province as the second son of a farmer.
His given name is Iwajiro.
In his teens, he went to Kyoto and studied painting under Ishida Yutei.
In his 20s, Okyo was working at a toy store whose shop name is "Owari-Ya", and he was depicting kaleidoscope landscape views using Western perspective.
From 1766, he started calling himself "Okyo".


Okyo valued copying from life, therefore, he always carried around a sketchbook.
Okyo acquired techniques of sketching from this habit and also acquired the Western perspective painting method.
However, he made many good paintings whose subjects are Japanese traditional ones, using the techniques stated above.
Because of superb techniques and amiable painting style, wealthy merchants bought Okyo's works by choice.


Okyo lived in a house very near of Yosa Buson's house in Kyoto.
They were friends with each other, they collaborated even though their painting styles are so different.
Matsumura Goshun, Nagasawa Rosetsu and Mori Tetsuzan are well-known as Okyo's pupils.

Statue of Maruyama Okyo Kujaku-zu, Peafowls Yuki Matsu-zu Byobu Matsu Tree in the Snow byobu folding screen Koinu, Puppies 1784
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