Mountain Landscape

Accession Number

Mountain Landscape

Ikeno Taiga; Ikeno Gyokuran

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
ink and light color on paper

4 ft. 1 1/8 in. x 11 1/16 in. (124.7 x 28 cm);2 11/16 x 21 7/8 x 3 3/16 in. (6.7 x 55.5 x 8 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund

Label copy

Ike Taiga was one of the towering figures in Kyoto painting of the mid-eighteenth century. A child prodigy at calligraphy, he learned Chinese poetry and philosophy through his friendships with Confucian scholars and the Ôbaku Zen monks of Manpukuji. Since Chinese literati paintings were then still scarce in Japan, his models were taken from woodblock printed books. James Cahill has argued that Taiga’s “pointillist” style, which separates brushstrokes into distinct units with little use of wash, probably derives from the technical limitations of his printed sources.

For Taiga and his contemporary, Yosa Buson, Chinese literati painting provided fresh inspiration and a validation of a certain lifestyle—one devoted to the study of letters and the cultivation the mind. Taiga fit to a “T” the ideal of the untrammeled spirit: he was careless about money, often almost slovenly in appearance, and frequently tipsy—but also generous, entertaining, and a brilliant artist.

Maribeth Graybill, for the exhibition "Japanese Visions of China," 9/21/02 - 1/26/03

Subject matter
Taiga's sense of joy in nature is evident in this lightly colored landscape which features figures standing on a covered bridge enjoying the distant waterfall.

"Most of Taiga's landscapes were executed quickly on paper in sumi ink strokes, with only a few colors. Western pointillist-painters labored slowly on linen canvases, building up squares or"points" of oil pigments on top of each other, covering up any mistakes by adding another"point" of color. Compared with the solidity of a Seurat or Signac work, a Taiga landscape seems much lighter and more natural in feeling. He was able to add variety to his landscapes by combining the "points" he used for foliage with a contrasting brush-line for tree trunks."

Covell, Jon Etta Hastings Carter. Japanese Landscape Painting. Crown Publishers, 1962.

Physical Description
This lightly colored landscape features figures standing on a covered bridge enjoying the distant waterfall. To the left of the painting, there are trees with rocks scattered around on the ground. In the distance, there are mountains that contain a little greenery. The waterfall comes out of these mountains and empties into a river; mist formes from this. In the top left corner of the painting, there is a signature.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

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hanging scroll

5 Related Resources

Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)
Landscape and Nature, Comparative and Historical
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
F20 Millman Gallery Drawing
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)

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