Chinese Palace Landscape

Artist: Kimura Ritsugaku (1827-1890)
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, ca. 1883
Ink, color, and gold on silk
H x W (image): 173.5 x 85.1 cm (68 5/16 x 33 1/2 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

Japan, kakemono, landscape, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), palace

To 1904
Ernest Francisco Fenollosa (1853-1908), New York, NY, and Spring Hill, AL, to 1904 [1]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Ernest Francisco Fenollosa in 1904 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Reserved Kakemono List, R. 362, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. See also, Purchase List.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Ernest Francisco Fenollosa (C.L. Freer source) 1853-1908
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


The Japanese artist Kimura Ritsugaku studied with professional artists of the Kano school who were known for their mastery of Chinese painting techniques and subjects. Here he employs refined brushwork and delicately graded color to render an idealized image of a Chinese palace. Ritsugaku's paintings won praise both in Japan, where he was ranked with Kano Hogai (1828–88)as one of the nation's leading painters.  He produced works for the shogun's palace and then after the Meiji Restoration for the imperial palace and governmental buildings; in 1875, his painting of a Chinese palace won first place at the Paris International Exposition.

Charles Lang Freer purchased this painting in 1904 from Ernest F. Fenellosa (1853-1908), an American professor who had become an influential advocate for Japanese art in Japan and later in the Oriental department of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Fenellosa wrote to Freer in 1902, "The Chinese Palace . . . was painted for me in 1883, I think, by a fellow pupil with Hogai and Gaho, named Kimura . . . . ," adding that the painting was a favorite of Mrs. Fenellosa, who had hung it in her parlor in Tokyo.

Published References
  • Ernest F. Fenollosa Papers: The Houghton Library, Harvard University. 2 vols., , Japanese ed. Tokyo. vol. 2: pl. 39.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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