One Good Oar Sways Mountains
히토사오요잔(삿대 하나가 산을 흔들다)
Color on silk
Tangible Cultural Property designated by Tochigi Prefecture
An imposing landscape painting by an artist who was active from the Edo period to the Meiji period.
에도시대부터 메이지 시대에 걸쳐 활약한 화가의 웅대한 풍경화
A punt is proceeding along the surface of a river between mountains. The pole seems to sway the mountains reflected on the surface of the water as it pushes against the river bed. There are green mountains extending ahead. The effectively colored motifs are kept to a minimum and the spaces for the water system and the sky are arranged largely, leaving aftereffects. Such composition was born from the tradition of poetical Chinese literati painting, but, on the other hand, a modern, new sensibility can also be identified there. Together with the artist’s signature, the inscription at the lower right reads as follows. “A single push of the pole easily sways the mountains reflected on the surface of the water. I followed the painting techniques of the Chinese artist Shen Zhou (1427-1509).” In other words, Soun followed the style set by a Ming dynasty artist of literati painting. At a time when nanga (literati painting) had reached its dark days and was falling into a decline, this painting by Soun, who was about to turn seventy, could be regarded a painting foreboding the movement towards “shin-nanga (new literati painting),” which was to flourish in the Taisho period. The stamp “soko (old and tasteful” in the upper right was affixed when this painting received the silver prize at The 2nd Naikoku Kaiga Kyoshinkai (Domestic Painting Promotion Exhibition) held in 1884.