|KEY WORD : art history / paintings|
| Paintings of a flat, undulatory sandy beach or sand
spit with windswept pines , a traditional theme of *yamato-e
やまと絵. Documentary evidence suggests that seashore scenes were depicted occasionally
in Heian period paintings of famous views *meisho-e
名所絵 including, for example, the beaches of Ise 伊勢 (Mie prefecture) or Settsu
摂津 (Hyougo prefecture). It seems likely that there were few distinguishing differences
in the coastal scenery depicted among these Heian paintings of famous views because
none were painted from nature . No full-size paintings of the subject survive
from before the 15c. The motif frequently appears, however, on the screens depicted
within handscroll paintings *emaki
絵巻, such as The Kasuga Gongen Miracles, Kasuga Gongen kenki-e 春日権現験記絵 (1309; Imperial Collection) and The Biography of Priest Hounen *Hounen Shounin
den-e 法然上人伝絵 (mid-14c; Chion-in 知恩院, Kyoto), see *gachuuga
画中画. In these depictions the stylized waves of a wide expanse of sea lap against
a sandy, flat shore with pines. The frequent occurrence of this theme in handscrolls
indicates that pines on a beach had become a typical screen motif by the 14c.
The earliest extant example is a pair of folding screens with images of pines,
ocean and boats (late 15c; Private Collection) . Another pair of screens in the
Tokyo National Museum (mid-16c) shows people working along a beach, an elaboration
on the theme. In late 16c or early 17c screens attributed to Kaihou Yuushou 海北友松
(1533-1615; Imperial Collection) and Soutatsu 宗達 (?-1643?; Freer Gallery of Art,
Washington D.C.) the theme is treated more decoratively. The motif has appeared
as a pictorial design on decorated paper and on lacquerware since the 14c.
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