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Maeda Seison (1885-1977)
Snow covered branches
Signed: Seison
Seals: Seison
Technique: sumi and colours on paper 138.5 x 30.5
Mounting: grey gold brocade and green silk
216 x 42
Condition: crease, otherwise good

Maeda was born in what is now Nakatsugawa city, Gifu Prefecture in 1885. His mother died when he was 13, and he moved to Hongō in Tokyo with his father. In 1901, through the introduction of Ozaki Kōyō (1868-1903), Maeda enrolled at the art school headed by Kajita Hanko (1870-1919), from whom he received the name "Seison" in 1902. He met and befriended fellow student, Kobayashi Kokei (1883–1957), whose work influenced many of Maeda's early paintings.

Maeda was a member of the Kojikai artistic group from 1907, and of the Japan Fine Arts Academy (Teikoku Bijitsuin) from 1914. He visited Korea in 1915 and China in 1919. Under sponsorship of the Japan Fine Arts Academy, he visited Europe in 1922, touring Rome, Florence, Paris and London for almost one year. Although he was greatly impressed by the frescoes of the Italian Renaissance master Giotto at Assisi, Maeda remained faithful to the traditional Yamato-e and Rimpa styles of Japanese painting, and came to be known for his watercolor paintings on historical themes, primarily portraiture. However, Maeda worked in a variety of genres, including still life and landscapes.

Maeda became a member of the Imperial Art Academy in 1937. He toured Manchukuo and northern China in 1943 under the sponsorship of the Japanese government. In 1944, Maeda was appointed as an official court painter to the Imperial Household Agency, and taught painting to Empress Kōjun.

In 1946, Maeda became an official judge of the annual Japan Arts Exhibitions (Nitten). He was also a professor at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music from 1950 until his retirement in 1959.

Maeda was awarded the Order of Culture and was named a Person of Cultural Merit in 1955. In 1967, he was selected to assist in the restoration work on the frescos of the Kondo Hall of the temple of Hōryū-ji in Nara together with Yasuda Yukihiko (1884-1978). [Wikipedia]

Roberts p. 102
Aburai p. 349-50