Ike Taiga

Ike Taiga
orig. Matajirō

born June 6, 1723, Kyōto, Japan
died May 30, 1776, Kyōto

Japanese painter.

From an early age he was taught calligraphy and the Chinese classics. He helped establish the bunjin-ga style of painting (see literati), originally a Chinese style. His works consist of landscapes and portraits, including the screen pictures The Five Hundred Disciples of Buddha and a series of illustrations for Jūben jūgichō (1771; "Ten Advantages and Ten Pleasures Collection"), albums based on the poems of Li Liweng of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Ike became one of the leading calligraphers of the Edo culture.

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▪ Japanese painter
original name  Matajirō , also called  Ikeno Taiga 
born June 6, 1723, Kyōto, Japan
died May 30, 1776, Kyōto

      painter of the mid-Tokugawa period (1603–1867) who, together with Yosa Buson, established the bunjin-ga (Nan-ga), or literati, style of painting, which survives to this day in Japan. (The style had originated in China and was first called Nan-ga, or the Southern School, of Chinese art; it was closely related to scholarship and literature.)

      The son of a farmer, Ike was taught calligraphy and the Chinese Classics from an early age and eventually became one of the leading calligraphers of the Tokugawa period. He first studied Nan-ga through an illustrated book of Chinese painting, Pa-chung hua-p'u (c. 1620), and was later influenced by such older Japanese Nan-ga painters as Ryū Rikyō and Gion Nankai, whom he first met about 1736 and 1752, respectively. Unlike most other bunjin-ga painters, who merely followed closely the style's models, he developed a more free and ample style, full of vitality and brightness.

      Ike's works consist mostly of landscapes and portraits, usually on a larger scale than later bunjin-ga paintings. Among his representative large-scale works are the screen pictures “The Five Hundred Disciples of Buddha” and “The Western Lake,” both for the Mapuku Temple at Uji, and “Chinese Recluses in a Mountain” (a 10-screen work) of the Henjōkō Temple on Mount Kōya. He collaborated with Yosa Buson to work on illustrations for Jūben jūgichō (1771; “Ten Advantages and Ten Pleasures”), albums based on the poems of Li Li-weng of the early Ch'ing dynasty (1644–1911). Ike did the illustrations for the 10 advantages, while Buson did the 10 pleasures. Ike taught his wife, Gyokuran, painting, and she became a famous painter herself.

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Universalium. 2010.

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