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Landscapes: Fujisan (LF Paintings)

A set of four chuban size Mount Fuji landscape paintings on silk are called here Landscapes: Fujisan (LF). None of the paintings have signatures or seals.

Although the painting technique is Rakusan's own and is contemporary, the LF paintings are of traditional views of Mount Fuji, and the people and conveyances shown are those of an earlier time. It is possible that Rakusan took inspiration from designs by earlier artists, but no immediate models have been located. The LF set of paintings is unusual since these are four of only five landscape locations outside of the immediate Kyoto area. No record of Rakusan's plans for prints from these paintings have survived.

The individual LF designs are relatively small are not closely related to any other Rakusan paintings in style or palette. Since they also lack signatures and seals, dating is problematic. However, given their detailed execution, they were probably all painted during the mid 1930s. No direct woodblock print versions of any LF paintings were ever produced, and the LF series of paintings remained in Rakusan's personal collection. To this day these paintings are proudly displayed to favored visitors as examples of Rakusan's best work.

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© 2015 Dr Michael J P Nichols


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