Portrait of Takami Senseki

Details

Portrait of Takami Senseki

Paintings / Edo

By Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841)

Edo period, dated 1837 (Tenpo 8)

Color on silk

本紙縦115.0 横57.2 :表具縦190.7 横69.2

1幅

Inscriptions:「天保鶏年槐夏望日寫 崋山渡邊登」の款と「崋山」(白文長方印)

National Treasure

A man clad in the formal attire of a warrior gazes piercingly ahead. Takami Senseki was a samurai and a scholar of Dutch studies, which was the study of Western culture and also technology in general. This work was painted by Watanabe Kazan, a scholar of the Dutch studies and a pupil of the man depicted. It was painted when Senseki paid a formal visit to a temple in his role as representative of the feudal lord he was serving.

Though also a samurai, Kazan excelled at painting too. He established his own original style that incorporated principles of perspective and shading from Western art.Kazan left behind many portrait paintings, but this is recognized as his finest masterpiece. The artist has used simple, light brushstrokes and coloring, as well as delicate techniques to convey the sophistication and strong will of the subject.

We hope you enjoy this superlative work of art, which even offers a glimpse into a samurai's attitude towards life.

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