kanga 漢画
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Lit. Chinese painting. Several painting styles which developed in Japan after the mid-13c under the influence of Chinese (Ch: Han, Jp: Kan 漢) painting, especially ink-painting *suibokuga 水墨画 techniques of the Song and Yuan dynasties (see *sougenga 宋元画). However, in the broadest usage of the term kanga also refers to works influenced by the paintings of the Ming (Jp:Min 明) and Qing (Jp:Shin 清) dynasties. The term kanga was coined in the Edo period to refer to the painting style developed and practiced mainly by Kanou school *Kanouha 狩野派 artists beginning in the early 16c which was thought of as Chinese in style. Kanga was used in contrast to the term *yamato-e やまと絵 which had come to designate the highly-colored-and-detailed style of painting produced by the *Tosaha 土佐派 and *Sumiyoshiha 住吉派. Yamato-e was itself originally based on highly-colored painting from Tang (Jp: Tou 唐) dynasty China that was gradually Japanized at the Heian court in the 10-11c. During the Heian period, paintings in the same, essentially yamato-e style, but using Chinese themes or subject matter, were termed *kara-e 唐絵, as distinct from paintings of native themes which were called yamato-e. But from the mid-13c kara-e came to refer to paintings produced in Japan in the newly introduced Chinese ink monochrome style based mostly on the Southern Song models (see *intaiga 院体画). These "Chinese" ink-paintings include works by Shuubun 周文 (act mid-15c), Sesshuu Touyou 雪舟等楊 (1420-1506), and their followers. In the late 15c or early 16c, when artists such as Kanou Motonobu 狩野元信 (1476-1559) synthesized the yamato-e use of bright solid pigments with the ink outlines and modeling based in kara-e, the need for new terminology arose. Sinophile, neo-Confucist thought of the day called this Kanou painting "Chinese" or kanga. This kanga style was developed and perfected to decorate the large-scale screens and panels of the warrior's castles and mansions by Motonobu's grandson, Eitoku 永徳 (1543-90), as well as painters of related schools including *Hasegawaha 長谷川派, *Kaihouha 海北派, and *Unkokuha 雲谷派. These artists often created Chinese landscapes, Neo-Confucian and Zen 禅 subjects which included Chinese gentlemen and ladies. The Kanou school maintained the style and Chinese-flavored repertoire and so remained the kanga school, as distinct from the Tosa and Sumiyoshi schools which followed the tradition of yamato-e. In the Edo period *nanga 南画, another Chinese trend in painting, influenced primarily by the Southern Chinese literati style *nanshuuga 南宗画, was included in kanga, although in present usage it is generally excluded. Today the term kanga is also applied to ink painting in the Northern Chinese style *hokushuuga 北宗画 introduced by Oubaku 黄檗 sect monks which flourished in the city of Nagasaki 長崎 during the 17c through 19c. See *Oubakuga 黄檗画 and *Nagasakiha 長崎派.


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