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Niwa Kagen (1742-1786)
Drinking tea while overlooking the bay
Signed: Kagen
Seals: Kagen
Technique: colours on paper 28.8 x 31.6
Mounting: sand coloured silk
87 x 48.4
Condition: mounted album leaf (centerfold), top of the mounting worn, otherwise good

Kagen was born in Nagoya, a samurai in the service of the Owari Takenaka family.
At the age of twenty he went to Kyoto to study Kokugaku (National studies). He became an intimate friend with Ike Taiga (1723-76), but he must also have been influenced by the shaseiga (drawing after nature) way of painting of Maruyama Ôkyo (1733-95). In 1770 he made the trip back to Nagoya, where in 1776 he joined the Ôbaku Zen-monk Unga Genjun (1699-1788) to study Chinese painting. This gave him the reputation of being the founder of the Nanga School in Nagoya. It is said that he was the first teacher of Chikutô when he was a child.

Kagen was a painter of whom not too much is known; only a few of his works remain.

Roberts p. 63
Araki p. 2400, 2639