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Murase Taiitsu (1804-1881)
Nanga / Bunjin
Sugawara Michizane
Signed: Hakugaku Murase Rei Taiitsu kinfu
Seals: Murase Rei, Murase Taiotsu, Yukumo Nagamizu (tp)
Technique: sumi on paper 135.2 x 32.5
Mounting: (original) cream paper 188 x 40.5
Condition: very good


Writings of a thousand years outlive the centuries;
heaven determines who can conceal great loyalty.
Boys who take up their study mark his day of death;
there is no family who does not remember Mr. Sugawara.

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.

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

Price: EUR 1,000 / USD 1,070