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Winter landscape
ca. 1865-1870

Shiokawa Bunrin , (Japanese, 1808-1877)
Edo period or Meiji era

Ink on silk panel
H: 139.7 W: 69.2 cm
Japan

Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1896.44

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This atmospheric landscape provides a close and dramatic view of the steep slope of Arashiyama, a mountain on the banks of the Oi River that was a favorite site for excursions by the residents of Kyoto. The artist has rendered the snowy scene by leaving the silk unpainted, to represent the whiteness of snow. The effects of age and exposure have darkened the silk to mute the original effect. The striking realism of this painting comes in part from the artist's knowledge of European painting techniques and visual ideas, which he combines here with traditional Japanese materials and brush methods.