Biography of Japanese Painter

Ogata Kenzan (1663 - 1743)

Potter and painter in the Edo period.

Kenzan was born in Kyoto as a third son of a prosperous draper. (The shop name was "Karigane-Ya".)
His real given name was Gonpei.
Kenzan is his most well-known pseudonym.
Ogata Korin, great painter, industrial artist and producer, is Kenzan's 6 years elder brother.
In 1687, as their father died, they received huge property on halves.
Even though Korin debauched and lost his property in several years, Kenzan was a person of firm character.
Kenzan liked reading books, studying and Zen meditation.
Because Nonomura Ninsei, great potter, lived close to the Kenzan's residence, he studied ceramic art from Ninsei in earnest.
When Kenzan was 37 years old, a court noble (Nijo Tsuanhira) patronized his kiln.
We can find fluid and sophisticated brushworks in his works.
There are many potteries that Kenzan made vessels and his brother Korin depicted on them.
In 1731, when Kenzan was 69 years old, he moved to Edo (present Tokyo).
In 1743, he deceased in Edo at the age of 81.

  • Kakuzara, Square Plate
  • Yugao, Bottle Gourd
  • Take-zu, Bamboo, Depicted by Ogata Korin
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