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53. Murase Taiitsu (1803-1881)
Nanga / Bunjin
Ume - Japanese apricot
Signed: Taiitsu Rôjin heidai
Seals: Taiitsu Rôjin sanzetsu, Hakusetsu (tp)
Technique: sumi on paper 108.5 x 30.3
Mounting: purple crushed paper and blue crushed paper
185 x 41.2
Condition: a little creased, otherwise good

溪水凝無響 / 横枝衝玉塵 / 百花紅未點 / 雪裏占春人。        

The brook freezes over without a sound,
Horizontal branches catch the jade dust.
The red dots of the flowers are not yet visible,
Snow piles up on the people of spring.
(HK)

The expression ‘jade dust’ refers to snowflakes.

Murase Taiitsu, a highly individual and unconventional bunjin artist can be regarded as the Confucianist literati equivalent of the Zenga master Sengai Gibon (1750-1837).

Taiitsu was born in Gifu Prefecture. He was the second son in a large, wealthy and educated farmers family. In 1821 Taiitsu went to Nagoya to study with doctor Murase Rissai (1792-1851), a brother of Murase Tôjô (1791-1852), who had been a student of Shinozaki Shôchiku (1781-1851) and of San'yô (1780-1832). Taiitsu went to Kyoto to stay with San'yô, likely introduced by Tôjô. After San'yô's death in 1832 he returned to Nagoya to teach. When in 1840 the Keidôkan School was established by Naruse Seiju, a lord of the Inuyama clan, Tôjô was appointed head and in 1842 he invited Taiotsu to become a teacher there.

When the feudal educational system was abandoned at the beginning of the Meiji period he lost his position as a Confucian teacher. Being unemployed, living far from Kyoto and Tokyo, Taiitsu was free to behave as he pleased and to paint as he wished, he received little attention from anybody but his small circle of pupils and friends.
His life is full of anecdotes of which most seem to be true. He made a career with apparently impromptu childlike naïve paintings and poems and perhaps he was the greatest individualist among the early Meiji painters.

Reference:
Addiss 1979
Oranda Jin 2015
Roberts p. 168
Araki p. 343

Price: EUR 950 / USD 950