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Kano Eytoku
Japan 
1545−1590
Biography and information
 

Kano Eitoku is one of the largest Japanese artists, the founder of the Kano school of Japanese painting during the Azuchi-Momoyama period. Many of his paintings included in the number of National treasures of Japan.

Kano Eitoku working under orders of the generals of ODA Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Painted them with large umbrellas, sliding screens, wall and ceiling painting adorned belonged to Nobunaga castle ajuti and palaces Hideyoshi in Kyoto and Osaka. Unfortunately, many of the works were damaged and even killed during the unrest in Japan in the Sengoku Period.

One of the greatest masters of the famous schools of Japanese painting Kano, the founders of which were famous Japanese artists of the late XV — beginning of XVI century Kano Masanobu (1434−1530) and Motonobu Kano (1476−1559).

Unlike most painters of the time, the founders of this school were not monks and came from the samurai class. After Subono and his followers Setena, they began to lead the "Academy of painting" Ashikaga, and art in General were secular in nature. But it is necessary to clarify that prevailing in Japanese art criticism of the concept of "Kano school" can be accepted with a high degree of conditionality. It is rather a kind of dynasty, hereditary masters, not always having blood kinship, first served at the court of the Ashikaga shoguns, then warlords ODA Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and finally Tokugawa shoguns. For this school of Japanese painting is characterized by the desire for a thorough vypisnoy all the details, the most exact reproduction of nature, although she was portrayed purely decorative. From Kano Eitoku, in addition to the aesthetic characteristics of decorative paintings in contrast to fuzoku-GA ("pictures of manners and customs") and San sui ("landscape") the crucial role played by the functional characteristics — uniqueness of use of this genre in oformleniyashda the ruling elite. The main feature of the existence of art during the Momoyama period in contrast to the preceding centuries is the close connection with public life and government. Monochrome painting of the Muromachi period were mostly created in the monasteries. The art of the Kano Eitoku being put at the service of a new power — the power of warlords and unifiers of the country, was intended to magnify, to create visual symbols of power, strength and wealth. Fundamentally new problems in painting became apparent with the construction of fortified castles, which served as the residence of the rulers of the country and the most powerful feudal lords, the daimyo. Kano Eitoku was the first artist who began to play the Grand orders of ODA Nobunaga, and then Toyotomi, Hevesi on cycles of paintings in their castles and palaces. His successors and disciples continued after his death to work for the Tokugawa shoguns. In this aspect, the share Eitoku had the historic mission of creating the wall paintings of the XVI century Japan, and which was a definite pattern. Already in the early works of the artist created to meet ODA Nobunaga, one can notice the appearance of the devil, subsequently allowed him to take a leading place in the art of Momoyama period and the formation of the style that characterizes this era.

Information about the life Eitoku very scarce. He was born in 1543 and was the son of Kano Sea, the third generation of hereditary painters. Very important for the subsequent development of talent Eitoku was that his first mentor was his grandfather Motonobu, who died when Eitoku was already sixteen years old. It Eitoku, not his father, believed Motonobu his successor and future head of the Kano school.

The documented evidence of the work Eitoku is the earliest mention of his work with the father of Kano Sea over the cycle of murals in the newly constructed subframe, Zuko-in monastery in Kyoto Daitokuji. JUKO-in was completed in 1566 as a family temple Miyoshi nageezi, a representative of one of the most influential samurai of the names of the time. Based on the latest research, it can be argued that out of thirty-two sliding doors that were previously attributed to Eitoku, it was performed only two series of paintings: "Landscape with flowers and birds" and "the Four noble entertainment". However, the talent and ability of the young artist (he was only twenty-three when he began this work, completed during the three subsequent years) was already so encouraging that he and not his father, painted the largest room, including Central. It is known that almost simultaneously with this work Eitoku fulfilled another order for painting the sliding doors in the reception halls of the Palace of Konoe family, close to the Imperial court. Two documentary sources it is mentioned that in 1574 Nobunaga gave his vassal of Uesugi Kenshin, the two pairs of screens painted by Kano Eitoku. Finally, it is known that in 1576 when he was finished unprecedented design and scale of the castle on the shore of lake Biwa, with its enormous seven-story tower, all the interior was commissioned to decorate the paintings of Kano Eitoku. It was the most important and crucial moment in the artist’s life and work on the paintings in the castle ajuti was the formation of a new style of decorative painting.

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Kano Eytoku. Screen "Flowers and birds of vermen of the year", left side
Kano Eytoku. Screen "Flowers and birds of the seasons", right side
Kano Eytoku. Chinese lions
Kano Eytoku. Japanese cypress
Artworks by the artist
4 artworks total
Kano Eytoku. Chinese lions
3
Chinese lions
XVI century, 88×178 cm
Kano Eytoku. Japanese cypress
1
Japanese cypress
1590, 169.5×460.5 cm
Kano Eytoku. Screen "Flowers and birds of vermen of the year", left side
2
Screen "Flowers and birds of vermen of the year", left side
XVI century, 164.5×359 cm
Kano Eytoku. Screen "Flowers and birds of the seasons", right side
1
Screen "Flowers and birds of the seasons", right side
XVI century, 164.5×359 cm
View 4 artworks by the artist