<- Back Home

click image to enlarge

Minagawa Kien (1734-1807)
Boating under falling petals
Signed: Kyôsai shai
Seals: Minagawa Gen, Hakukyô & Kyôsai (bottom)
Technique: sumi on paper 64.5 x 27.6
Mounting: decorated blue damask
ivory rollers, 129,5 x 39.5
Condition: very good

The inscription reads: 石出倒聽楓葉下
Rocks stick [through the water] and one hears maple leaves falling down on them ... (HK)

This line was a quote from a qilü (shichiritsu) poem by Du Fu (712-770) written to Li Bai (701-762): Song Li bamishu fu Du Xianggong mu (Complete Tang poems, 231-47).

Kien was born in Kyoto. He started his Confucian studies at the age of five and was teaching by the time he was twenty-five. He entered the service of the Matsudaira family of the domain of Kameyama in Tanba province. In the 1780s he was invited by the domain of Zeze in Ômi province to set up an education system. In 1805 he established a successful Confucian school in Kyoto, which attracted more than 3000 students, but the school went into a rapid decline after his death two years later.
Kien studied first painting with Mochizuki Gyokusen (1692-1755) and later with Maruyama Ôkyo (1733-95), Gan Ku (1749-1838) and Go Shun (1752-1811). From 1783 onwards, in spring and autumn, he organized the Shin Shoga Tenkan, the Exhibition of New Calligraphies and Paintings at the Sôrin-ji in Kyoto. Here he presented the work of many of his friends and colleagues.

Roberts p. 78
Araki p. 1892 ff.
Rosenfield B.54
Beerens p. 105 ff.
Hillier p. 60