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Tomita Keisen (1879-1936) | Three monkeys

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Tomika Keisen (1879-1936)
Three monkeys

2294 Tomita Keisen
Tomita Keisen
Tomita Keisen
2294 Tomita Keisen
2294 Tomita Keisen

The childlike sketchiness of Sengai's Zenga 
"Tomita Keisen's blend of traditional Japanese styles within the framework of a highly individualistic outlook earned him the reputation of being unconventional, a characterization that has persisted in modern criticism.

Born the fifth son of a noodle manufacturer in Hakata (present-day Fukuoka) in 1879, Keisen's interest in painting began early. At the age for twelve, Keisen began studying Kano-school painting with Kinugasa Tankoku. Keisen also worked with another local artist, Ueda Tekko. During this period, Keisen first saw the works of Sengai Gibon, a Zen monk known for his whimsical painting style, who had lived at Hakata's Shofukuji Temple during his final years. Sengai's work held a lifelong fascination for Keisen, although this interest did not manifest itself stylistically until late in his career. (Julia S. Yenne in: Nihonga. Transcending the Past, p. 326).

"Keisen went home to Fukuoka in September 1904, not returning to Kyoto until May of the following year. He spent the time engrossed in the study of Sengai, the noted Zenga painter who had been a friend of his grandfather’s. Some of the Buddhist paintings from the last decade of Keisen's life noticeably resemble the childlike sketchiness of Sengai's Zenga." (Paul Berry, in: Modern Masters of Kyoto, p. 176)

The inscription on the scroll reads Koshin Kongou.  


Ink on paper
136.7 x 32.6 cm (53¾ x 12¾ in)
Mounting 197.5 x 48 cm (77¾ x 19 in)
Original box (tomobako)
$ 1,785.00 (shipping included)


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