saimitsuga 細密画
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Miniature paintings in a detailed style best suited for fans or albums. Two other terms, mitsuga 密画 and saiga 細画, also refer to paintings executed in minute detail. The three terms seem interchangeable. Although generally such detailed paintings were employed for small formats, mitsuga and saiga were also produced on large screens and sliding door panels. Kanou Eitoku 狩野永徳 (1543-90) painted a pair of screens Scenes in and around Kyoto *Rakuchuu rakugai-zu 洛中洛外図 in the saiga style, but they cannot be considered an example of saimitsuga because of their size. Tosa Mitsuyoshi 土佐光吉 (1539-1613) and more importantly his son Mitsunori 光則 (1583-1638) produced album leaves and handscrolls of genre scenes in exquisite detail which may be considered fine examples of saimitsuga.


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