Shimomura Kanzan (1873-1930), a master artist

On January 13, 2014, which happened to be a national holiday – “Coming of Age Day”, my wife and I went to the Yokohama Museum of Art to see the Shimomura Kanzan retrospective, commemorating the 140th anniversary of his birth. Kanzan was born into a family of Noh performers but managed to master traditional painting techniques when he was still a youngster. Here is a quick rundown of his career.


In 1889, he became a student of the Tokyo Fine Arts School (the present Tokyo University of the Arts) where he met his lifelong mentor, Okakura Tenshin (1863 – 1913) as well as an immortal class mate, Yokoyama Taikan (1868 – 1958). From 1903 to 1906, Kanzan studied western art in England (At the exhibition, I was astonished to see the superb replicas of Raffaello Santi’s works that Kanzan made). So, incorporating western art, he managed to establish his own style; thus becoming a master artist.  


He died at the age of 57 in Yokohama.






Scene from Noh play, "Yoroboshi", 1915

Also, a scene from Noh play

        Scenes from the "Tale of Heike", which was written in the 13th Century.

Here are some more works by Kanzan

Shimomura Kanzan
Shimomura Kanzan

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