Mountains; Flowers; Hibiscus; Cranes

About this object

The technique of ink painting does not allow for erasure of marks or corrections. When brush is put to silk or paper, the painter must create the desired lines and forms in one attempt. This requires years of practice involving protracted repetition, as well as a fully planned composition. These four sketches provide insight into the artistic working process. In small works such as these, students could gain confidence by copying their teacher's existing works and experimenting with their own compositions. The red lines are either the student's own revisions, or Katei's suggestions and corrections. The landscape of mountains in spring employs the technique of horizontal dots derived from the 11th-century Chinese painter Mi Fu; here, the placement of contours and mist banks in the mid-ground has been subtly altered. In the drawing of a hibiscus blossom, only a single leaf has been revised, suggesting the pupil had created an almost perfect copy. In the fan painting, the central bud has been enlarged, and in the vertical image of a pair of cranes, the positions of the birds' heads has been substantially changed, modifying the relationship between them.
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