kachouga 花鳥画
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Lit. bird-and-flower painting. Paintings of birds and flowers, flowers only *kakiga 花卉画, insects, plants *souchuuga 草虫画, or domestic animals reimouga れい毛画. The bird-and-flower theme was a major one in *yamato-e やまと絵 painting, although only those on lacquerware and metalwork survive from before the Kamakura period. The oldest extant paintings which treat bird-and-flower as an independent theme are the Muromachi period monochrome ink paintings done by Zen 禅 monks, influenced by paintings of the Song and Yuan dynasties *sougenga 宋元画. Influenced by Chinese Academic painting, professional artists in the 15c began painting polychrome depictions of a bird-and-flower on screens. In many cases birds and flowers placed in a landscape setting progress seasonally across the screens from right to left or vice versa *shiki kachou-zu 四季花鳥図. Kanou school *Kanouha 狩野派 artists are credited with creating a new style by synthesizing the ink-painting brushwork of Chinese painting with the flat, bright colors and abundant use of gold in traditional yamato-e painting. In the Momoyama period, bird-and-flower motifs were set against a brilliant gold background using gold leaf and painted on large-scale screen and walls in the interiors of residential castles (see *kinpeki shouhekiga 金碧障壁画). Two distinct styles emerged in the Edo period: the decorative rendering of flowers and grasses by *Rinpa 琳派 artists; and the naturalistic style by the artists of the *Maruyama Shijouha 円山四条派, who synthesized the decorative yamato-e tradition with a fresh view of nature. Later, woodblock print *ukiyo-e 浮世絵 artists like Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川広重 (also known as Andou 安藤 Hiroshige, 1797-1858) also employed bird-and flower designs.


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