Biography of Japanese Painter

Nagasawa Rosetsu (1754 - 1799)

Japanese-style painter at the middle part of the Edo period.
Disciple of Maruyama Okyo.

Rosetsu was born in 1754 (4th year of the Horeki era) as a son of Uesugi Wazaemon, low-ranking Samurai who served Yodo Domain (Han).
Rosetsu's real given names were Masakatsu and Gyo.
Later, Rosetsu became an adopted son of the Nagasawa family serving the same domain.
He lived in Yodo of Yamashiro Province (present Kyoto Prefecture) in his childhood, though, he went to Kyoto and became a disciple of Maruyama Okyo.

Rosetsu's talent of painting was so imcomparable and he depicted quite different pictures from the style of the Maruyama school in complete disregard for Okyo's directions.
Rosetsu was delegated to Kii Province (present Wakayama Prefecture) by Okyo to paint some pictures at temples.
He drew totally-unexpected pictures on Fusuma sliding doors of the temples (Muryo-Ji, Sodo-Ji, Jyoju-Ji Temples & others).
As Rosetsu did not observe teachings of Okyo, he was excommunicated by Okyo three times.
However, Rosetsu participated in depicting wall paintings at the Imperial Palace with Okyo in 1790.
Rosetsu deceased in 1799 (11th year of the Kansei era) at the age of 46.
There is a view that he was killed with poison.

  • Tora-zu in Fusuma-e, Tiger on Sliding Doors
  • Ryu-zu in Fusuma-e, Dragon on Sliding Doors
  • Gunryu-zu, Flock of Dragons
  • Fuji Ekkaku-zu, Flying Cranes over Mt. Fuji, 1794
  • Hakuzo Karako-zu Byobu, White Elephant & Tang Kids
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