Lofty Mountains, Long Rivers

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Artist: Takahashi Sohei (1802-1833)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1830
Ink and light color on paper
H x W (overall): 25.7 x 255.6 cm (10 1/8 x 100 5/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — funds provided by the bequest of Edith Ehrman
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, landscape, river
Provenance research underway.

This landscape handscroll depicting a broad river flowing among mountains is a fine example of the work of Takahashi Sohei. A member of a merchant family in Tanomura Chikuden's home province of Bungo in Kyushu, Sohei was a talented painter who became a pupil and companion of Chikuden (see F1973.5). Chikuden mourned the death of the youthful Sohei, who left few works and did not live to reach his full maturity as an artist.

This handscroll demonstrates Sohei's artistic ability and his close study of his teacher's style. Following Japanese convention, the scroll presents a continuous passage through a landscape that encompasses the four seasons, opening with spring and ending with winter. Like Chikuden, Sohei combines ink washes with dry ink strokes, effectively contrasting the techniques in successive passages of the scroll. The young painter's control of composition is noteworthy. At the end of the scroll is a brief inscription by the artist, stating that the scroll was painted in summer, in the sixth month of 1830. The cursive calligraphy providing the title of the scroll was written in 1903 by Tanomura Chokunyu (1814-1907), who was an adopted son and, like Sohei, a pupil of Chikuden.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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