kankai-zu 勧戒図
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Ch: quanjietu. Also written 鑑戒図 (Ch: jianjietu). Lit. pictures of advice and admonishment. Paintings based on Confucian ethics intended to encourage virtue and warn against evil. They depict famous historical and legendary figures: sages, religious leaders, wise rulers, illustrious retainers, popular heroes and virtuous women or, conversely, foolish rulers, traitors, and lascivious women. In China the genre dates from the Han dynasty. The famous handscroll attributed to Yen Liben (Jp: En Rippon 閻立本, ?-673, Boston Museum of Fine Arts) is a typical early example. In Japan, the earliest kankai-zu date from the Heian period, when the painting of the Festival to Confucius, sekiten 釈奠 was regularly exhibited in the Daigakuryou 大学寮, a Confucian training institution for government administrators, and The Screen of Wise Men *Kenjou-no-shouji 賢聖の障子 was displayed in the Shishinden 紫宸殿 of Kyoto Gosho 京都御所. The revival of Confucianism under the Tokugawa 徳川 shogunate spurred a revival of kankai-zu from the 17c. The many Kanou school *Kanouha 狩野派 paintings of Admonitions to the Emperor *teikan-zu 帝鑑図 and Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety *nijuushikou-zu 二十四孝図 attest to this renewed interest. Such themes also appear in *ukiyo-e 浮世絵 prints.


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