rakuchuu rakugai-zu 洛中洛外図
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Paintings of scenes in and around Kyoto. Famous sites, festivals and activities within the capital rakuchuu 洛中 and its surroundings rakugai 洛外 are presented in a composition typically depicting the scene from a high aerial vantage point in combination with a detailed interest in figures and buildings. Most versions of the theme were painted between the 16c and 18c in the format of folding screens. The buildings and scenes are depicted in a highly detailed style *saimitsuga 細密画 and colorfully painted with thick layers of pigments *dami-e 濃絵. Over the years the increasing inclusion of scenes depicting festivities, street activities or the entertainments and daily occupations of ordinary people is considered an indication of changing interests and changes in patronage from the court to the warrior class, merchants and townspeople. The rakuchuu rakugai-zu theme plays a role in the transition from *yamato-e やまと絵 to genre painting *fuuzokuga 風俗画. It is also important as an early source from which later popular themes such as paintings of amusements *yuuraku-zu 遊楽図, of festivals *sairei-zu 祭礼図 and of people engaging various occupations *shokunin zukushi-zu 職人尽図 were derived.
The earliest works include the Machida 町田 version, a pair of six-fold screens dating from the early 16c (Tokyo National Museum), and the Uesugi 上杉 version, a pair of six-fold screens by Kanou Eitoku 狩野永徳 (1543-90) recorded to have been given by Oda Nobunaga 織田信長 (1534-82) to Uesugi Kenshin 上杉謙信 (1530-78) in 1574. Seasonal elements as well as geographical features are skillfully arranged in the Machida version, which is representative of early compositions. On the right screen, the hills of Higashiyama 東山 along the southeastern edge of the capital are depicted in spring and summer. The left screen presents sites in the western mountains outside the capital during autumn and winter. The focus of these early screens was on the official buildings such as the Imperial palace, shogunal residence Kuboudono 公方殿 and the regent Hosokawa's residence Hosokawadono 細川殿. The representative example showing compositional changes of the Momoyama period is in the collection of Shoukouji 勝興寺, Toyama prefecture. The scenes of Higashiyama on the right screen have become a background setting for a depiction of the summer *Gionmatsuri 祇園祭 in the center, with the Imperial palace placed to the side. The left screen represents the western half of the capital with Nijoujou 二条城 (built in 1606) in the center and the western hills in the background. In order to enlarge and emphasize the structures and buildings of particular interest especially to warrior patrons a tendency evolved to compress the pictorial space of the background views. In the Edo period, the seasonal aspects of the early compositions gradually grew fewer, the famous views less elaborate, and the official residences almost completely disappeared to be replaced by scenes of the activities and festivities of prospering townspeople. The best known example of this period is the Funaki 舟木 version produced ca. 1615 (Tokyo National Museum) and attributed to the studio of Iwasa Matabee 岩佐又兵衛 (1578-1650). Since the mid-Edo period, ready-made (non-commissioned) screens of rakuchuu rakugai-zu became popular as a souvenir gift of the capital (see *shikomi-e 仕込絵).


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