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Biography of Japanese Painter

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Yamamoto Baiitsu (1783 - 1856)

Nanga and Bunjin style painter at the latter part of the Edo period.


Baiitsu was born in Nagoya of Owari Province as a son of Yamamoto Ariemon, engraver.
When Baiitsu was 13 years old, his father died, and, his family was deprived.
Even though, his mother was enthusiastic about educating her son, she teached him Japanese Waka poem.
Baiitsu liked painting from his childhood, he started studying painting under Yamamoto Rantei at first.
Rantei spotted the Baiitsu's potential and he made Baiitsu to be a pupil of Cho Gessho.
Later, Kamiya Tenyu, wealthy merchant, patron of artists in Owari area and collector of antique drawings, gave sanctuary to Baiitsu.
Tenyu coached him how to paint, and also permitted to see his collection for Baiitsu to gain skills.
In these days, Baiitsu met Nakabayashi Chikudo who was 7 years older and was going to become a sworn friend of him.


In 1802, their benefactor Tenyu died, Baiitsu and Chikudo went to Kyoto.
They copied out old paintings displayed in the temples and shrines in Kyoto to caltivate their skills.
Though, they could not become popular in the Kyoto circle of painters at that time.
They once came back to Nagoya, however, Baiitsu went to Kyoto again in 1832.
Baiitsu was admitted as a master painter at this time.
He had relationships with Rai Sanyo and Yanagawa Seigan and others.
Based in Kyoto, Baiitsu traveled to every regeon in Japan.
When he was in Edo, he collaborated with Tani Buncho, another master painter .
In 1854, Baiitsu was appointed to be an official painter of Owari Domain and he came back to Nagoya.


Baiitsu was good at painting Sansui landscape views and flowers & birds.
Now, he is generally categorized as Nanga style painter.
However, he established his own original, exquisite and concinnous painting style as he was influenced by several styles such as realism of the Maruyama-Shijo school and techniques of Chinese old paintings.

White & Red Ume Byobu, Right-hand Screen of Folding Screen Kacho-zu Byobu, Right-hand Screen of Folding Screen
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