|KEY WORD : art history / paintings|
| A school
of painters active from the 16c to the 19c founded by Kaihou Yuushou 海北友松
(1533-1615) and passed down for eight generations. Each artist after Kaihou
Yuusetsu 海北友雪 (1598-1677) served in turn as the master painter to the Imperial Court *goyou-eshi 御用絵師. Yuushou was born into a samurai family
serving the Asai 浅井 clan of Oumi 近江 province. While still young, Yuushou
was sent to the Kyoto Zen 禅 temple Toufukuji 東福寺, to become a novice, thus
escaping the 1573 attack by Oda Nobunaga 織田信長 (1534-82), which destroyed his family.
Yuushou is said to have studied with a Kanou painter, either Kanou Motonobu
狩野元信 (1476-1559) or his grandson Eitoku 永徳 (1543-90). Yuushou however, developed
an individualistic style of painting, highly charged with energy, reflecting
his military upbringing and his Zen training. For artistic inspiration,
Yuushou looked to the sources of the Kanou school *Kanouha
狩野派, Song and Yuan painting *sougenga
宋元画, in particular, the works of Liang K'ai (Jp: Ryoukai 梁楷, mid-13c).
With the assistance of his contacts in the Zen community, Yuushou received
commissions for paintings from a number of temples in Kyoto, and was patronized
by Toyotomi Hideyoshi 豊臣秀吉 (1536-98) and Emperor Goyouzei 後陽成. Characteristic of Yuushou's
style are his use of ink washes and his "baglike" figures, rendered with
a minimum of long brushstrokes *genpitsu
減筆, seen for example in his painting of Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove *Chikurin shichiken
竹林七賢 at Kenninji 建仁寺 in Kyoto. Numerous monochrome and polychrome ink
works by Yuushou survive, the largest number preserved at Kenninji. Kaihou
Yuusetsu, son and successor of Yuushou was influenced by the then current
Kanou school manner, as were his descendants in the Kaihou school. Yuusetsu
is remembered for his screen painting at Myoushinji Rinshouin 妙心寺麟祥院
in Kyoto. Kaihou school artists after Yuusetsu include Yuuchiku 友竹 (1654-1728),
Yuusen 友泉 (1736-41), Yuusan 友三 (active ca. 1770), Yuutoku 友徳 (active ca.
1818-30), and Yuushou 友樵 (1817-68). Paintings by the later Kaihou artists
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