Biography of Japanese Painter

Shimomura Kanzan (1873 - 1930)

Shimomura Kanzan

Kanzan was born in Wakayama city of Wakayama Prefecture as the 3rd son of Shimomura Toyojoro.
Kanzan's real name was Seizaburo.
When Kanzan was 8 years old, the family moved to Tokyo, and he studied painting under Kano Hogai.
After Hogai's death, he studied under Hashimoto Gaho, Hogai's best friend.
Kanzan entered the Tokyo Bijutsu Gakko (Tokyo School of Fine Art) as a member of the inaugural class.
He graduated from the school in 1894, and became a teacher at the same institution.
When Okakura Tenshin, the head teacher of that school, left his job for conspiracy of the opponents, Kanzan also left his job and participated in establishing the Nihon Bijutsu-In (Japan Art Institute) with Yokoyama Taikan and Hishida Shunso.
1903-1905, Kanzan went to study in England.
In 1914, he helped reestablish the Nihon Bijutsu-In with Taikan.
In 1917, he was appointed a court painter, he served as a judge for both the Bunten and the Inten Exhibitions.

Kanzan mastered the Yamato-e Japanese traditional painting, the Rinpa style and old Chinese painting styles (Sung painting & Yuan painting), and fused them together.
His painting technique is one of the best of modern Japanese painters.

  • Yoroboshi 1915
  • Ko no Ma no Aki, Autumn between the Trees
  • Kumano Gozen Hanami, Bloom Gazing at Kumano Gozen 1894
  • Tsuginobu Saigo, The Last of Tsuginobu 1897
  • Jusei
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