Gan (A Bird of Pussage, A Wild-Goose) and Ayu (Small Fishes) in the Lotus Pond.[編集]
- Two of the thirty kakemono.
- By Itô Jaku-chû.
- Coloured; 4 feet 8 inches by a feet 6 1/2 inches.)
- Formerly owned by the temple Shô-koku-ji, Kyôto.
Itô Jaku-chû was a vegetable-seller of Kyôto. From childhood he was very fond of painting and learned the art from an artist of the Kanô school. Afterwards he studied the style of those famous artists of Yuen and Ming of China (from the middle of the 13th century to the middle of the 17th century); besides imitating a famous painter on lacquer named Kô-rin, to whom we have refereed already, afterward he originated quite a new style of his own. What he was most skilled in was life-like sketches of birds and flowers.
The two Kakemono we have before us from a series of thirty altogether and belonged formerly to Shô-koku-ji, the head temple of the Zen sect, of Kyôto but now are in the possession of the Imperial Household, being bought by Imperial Order. The whole series was executed in three years by the author beginning in the 8th year of Hô-reki (1758 A.D.). As among the thirty there are some which are identical in designs, some critics infer that he was not a good desiner. But this is too harsh a statement, for few can attain perfection in every direction. Of the thirty these two are somewhat simpler sketches.
He was very skillful in painting cocks and hens. He used to keep and feed in person some twenty or thirty cocks and hens in order to use them as models for his painting. It was not the form and shape but the life and spirit that he thus strove to depict. When he grew old he retired to the neighbourhood of Seki-hô-ji of Fuka-kusa, Kyôto and became a pupil of Haku-jun, the head priest of Man-puku-ji or Ô-baku-san. He died in 1800 A.D. in his 85th year of age. When any one asked him to paint a cock, he requested first a bushel of rice. His retired hut was called the To-bei-an (the hut of a bushel of rice).
In neighbourhood of Kyôto there are many who own pictures of cocks painted by this artist. He is considered one of the greatest of modern painters.
- 田島志一編 『真美大観 第二册』 日本佛教眞美協會、1899年。