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Mitsunobu 18th c. - Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Paintings: Pre 1800: Item # 1166363

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76-16 Tenno-cho, Okazaki, Sakkyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8335

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Mitsunobu 18th c. - Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove
A set of four sliding doors painted by the Kano school artist Katsuragawa Mitsunobu. Mitsunobu (no dates) was a student of Tsuruzawa Tanzan (1655-1729) and the teacher of Yoshimura Shuzan (1700-1776). Painted in ink on a gilded background the painting illustrates the motif of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, which was popular in Japan from the sixteenth century. This motif appealed to a wide range of audiences, some of whom may have felt trapped in a highly rigid social structure led by the military. As is traditionally depicted, the seven sages wished to escape the intrigues, corruption and stifling atmosphere of court life during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. They gathered in a bamboo grove where they enjoyed the simple, rustic life. This was contrasted with the politics of court. The Seven Sages stressed the enjoyment of personal freedom, spontaneity and a celebration of nature. The doors are in good condition although some restoration is necessary. Each door stands 69.5'' high and measures 38'' across (176 by 96 cm). Approximately 152'' across for the set.


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