kinpeki shouhekiga 金碧障壁画
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
A large painting on a wall, screen or sliding door *shouhekiga 障壁画 where strong, bright, mineral pigments such as ultramarine *gunjou 群青, malachite *rokushou 緑青 and red ocher *taisha 代赭 were applied over gold backgrounds *kinpekiga 金碧画. Gold foil kinpaku 金箔 and gold paint kindei 金泥 were applied to the large areas to represent both ground and sky (clouds), and became suggestive of an abstract space in which the motifs were then arranged. The style is known as kinpeki 金碧. The Momoyama period is considered the golden age of kinpeki shouhekiga. Recent research suggests that painting with gold backgrounds existed before then, possibly as early as the 10c, in the *yamato-e やまと絵 tradition. The style became popular with the rise of castle building which required the decoration of large and poorly lit interiors. Gold surfaces reflected the available light and helped to illuminate the rooms. The visual effects of gold backgrounds which conveyed the status and power of the lord of the castle were enhanced by the strong colors *dami-e 濃絵 and large motifs of the compositions, most popularly bird-and-flower themes, giant trees, and powerful animals such as tigers and dragons. Genre and festival scenes were also popular among wealthy merchants. Both the subjects and style were though to represent the power and wealth of the military leaders who built the castles. The Kanou school *Kanouha 狩野派 dominated kinpeki shouhekiga. Kanou Eitoku 狩野永徳 (1543-90) was commissioned to decorate the walls of the castles at Azuchijou 安土城, Oosakajou 大坂城, and Fushimijou 伏見城, and Kanou Tan'yuu 狩野探幽 (1602-74) worked on the decoration of Nijoujou 二条城 and Nagoyajou 名古屋城. The huge wall and sliding-door paintings of Hawks in Pine Trees *Matsutaka-zu 松鷹図 (1626) in Nijoujou is one famous extant example. Sliding doors and wall panels (screens) in the kinpeki style by the Kanou artists also decorate various temples including Nanzenji 南禅寺 (Eitoku and Tan'yuu), Myoushinji 妙心寺 (Kanou Sanraku 狩野山楽; 1559-1635, and Kanou Sansetsu 狩野山雪; 1589-1651) and Nishihonganji 西本願寺 (Watanabe Ryoukei 渡辺了慶; ?-1645). Other *kanga 漢画 artists, such as those in the *Hasegawaha 長谷川派 and *Kaihouha 海北派, produced vigorous and striking compositions in kinpeki shouhekiga.


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