`Fugaku-zu` [Painting of Mt. Fuji] by Konoshima Okoku
The oldest illustration of Mt. Fuji still in existence, currently held by Horyuji Temple, is known to be from 1069.
Mt. Fuji did not only become a symbol of faith, but, starting with Katsushika Hokusai, many artists were fascinated by the mountain and its appearance. As a consequence of this, Mt. Fuji has been painted by many artists, in a variety of unique styles, over many centuries.
Artist: Konoshima, Okoku (1877-1938).
About the artist: Konoshima Okoku, a nihonga [Japanese-style] painter, was born in Kyoto. At the age of 16 he became a pupil of Imao Keinen, who was a great master of Kyoto`s art-circle. Primarily following the traditions of the Maruyama School, founded in the Edo period, and painting from nature, he created many artworks of flowers, birds, and animals. By learning from Chinese books under the guidance of Yamamoto Keigu, however, he showed an outstanding talent in landscape painting and was also knowledgeable about historical facts and traditions.
In 1907, when the Bunten Exhibition (an annual art exhibition sponsored by the Ministry of Education) was established, he was awarded second prize the first time. Thence, he was awarded second prizes four times, third prize twice, and always won top level prizes. He was a high profile artist who supported the next generation`s artist circle.
At the Seventh Bunten Exhibition in 1913 he assumed the office of judge.
He continued to draw, grasping his skillful brush, in a familiar and easy-to-understand style.
Okoku`s residence lives on today as the Okoku Book Collection, containing over 10,000 books, letters and paintings collected by Okoku, as well as his posthumous works and sketch books.
A figure crosses over a hill on a horse pulled by a servant, with Mt. Fuji appearing above the clouds in the background.
This work, painted only in black, expresses a sense of perspective through using shades of just that one colour.
Considering the volume of snow around the summit of Mt. Fuji, one can assume that the season is between summer and autumn.
At last the two figures reach the peak of the hill (or perhaps mountain), but, maybe because they are about to start their descent, there is no sign of them turning to look at Mt. Fuji, which peeks out from above or afar.
The artwork seems to tell us that humans are merely one small speck in the vastness of nature.
`Fugaku-zu` [Painting of Mt. Fuji] by Konoshima Okoku（木島桜谷）
- Name of the artist
- 131 × 30.5 cm
- 季節 ： 夏—秋
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