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Haruki Nanko (1759-1839)
Winter landscape
Signed: Nanko
Seals: Nanko
Technique: sumi on paper 129 x 48
Mounting: orange samask
206 x 62
Condition: very good

Haruki Nanko was born in Edo and employed with Masuyama Sessai, an enthusiastic patron of the bunjin movement in Edo. In 1788 Sessai sent him to Nagasaki together with Totoki Baigai (1749-1804), who was the head of the Confucian School, which Sessai had founded. During this trip Nanko studied with Kimura Kenkadô (1736-1802) in Ôsaka. A little further down, in Kobe, he met Shiba Kokan (1747-1818) at the end of 1788 and they accompanied each other on a trip to Nagasaki. When they reached Okayama they called on Uragami Gyokudô (1745-1820). It finally took them six months to reach Nagasaki where Nanko could indulge in his interest in Chinese painters and Kôkan went out to meet with the Dutch. On his way back to Edo Nanko went to Gyokudô again to up-date him on what was new in the field of Chinese painting. On his return in Edo Nanko was one of the first few artists to work in the Southern Chinese style.

Nanko became a member of the group called Shôfukyû ginsha. This group promoted Chinese painting, calligraphy and poetry, following the philosophical tradition of the most influential Japanese Confucian philosopher Ogyû Sorai (1666-1728).

When Bunchô was at the peak of his fame, Nanko was regarded his equal. They were seen as the two great masters of their time.

Roberts p. 119
Araki p. 1346