typhlonectes:

Katayama Bokuyo, Mori (Forest), 1928

At
the young age of twenty-seven, Katayama Bokuyo_ was awarded the grand
prize at Japan’s annual Imperial Juried Exhibition in 1927. The
following year, he submitted this painting showing a weasel nearly
hidden in a tangled bed of flowering fishmint (dokudani)
deep in the forest. The judges were so impressed that he was given the
status of mukansa, literally “non-vetted,” meaning that henceforth any
painting he submitted to the annual exhibition would be automatically
included.

Bokuyo_ championed a style of painting
collectively known as nihon-ga (literally, Japanese style painting) to
distinguish it from Western-style oil painting, which was gaining
popularity in Japan. Nihon-ga artists used traditional subjects, formats
and materials, but their approach often reveals some influence from the
West. Here the logical recession into deep space and subtle color
variations to suggest atmospheric depth are the result of Bokuyo_’s
exposure to Western art. Nevertheless, the dramatically tipped
ground-plain, reduction of motifs, and precisely applied mineral
pigments are elements of traditional painting.

via: Minneapolis Institute of Art

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