kanbaku-zu 観瀑図
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Ch: guanputu. A pictorial theme that features a scholar gazing at a waterfall. The theme probably relates to the poem Ballad of Mt. Lu (Ch: Lushanyao, Jp: Rozanyou 廬山謡) by the Tang poet Li Bai (Jp:*Ri Haku 李白,701-62) and is a variation on paintings of Li Bai Viewing a Waterfall (Ch:Li Bai Guanpu-tu, Jp: Ri Haku kanbaku-zu 李白観瀑図). The image of an aged scholar, often accompanied by a servant, gazing reverently at a cataract dropping from a high cliff, is one of the clearest symbols of the literati appreciation of and devotion to nature. Such depictions are well-known throughout the later history of Chinese painting, and one of the earliest extant examples is a landscape attributed to Li Tang (Jp: Ri Tou 李唐, early 12c) in Koutouin 高桐院, Kyoto. In Japan, the theme was particularly popular in the Muromachi period and with painters of the Ami school *Amiha 阿弥派. Kanbaku-zu enjoyed a revival with the sinophile artists of the *nanga 南画 lineage.


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