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Landscapes: Chinese Style Kinkaku-ji (LCK Paintings)

A set of three oban size Kyoto landscape paintings on silk are called here Landscapes: Chinese Style Kinkaku-ji (LCK). None of the paintings have signatures or seals. All three are summer season paintings which include irises. The descriptor 'Chinese Style' is original to Rakusan and appears on an associated storage document. In fact the design style (especially that of LCK-3) is closely reminiscent of that of 歌川広重, Utagawa Hiroshige (安藤 広重, Andou Hiroshige) in his 都名所,miyako meisho, Famous Places in Kyoto, ca. 1849-1850.

The individual LCK designs are medium size, and, other than the familiar Kinkaku-ji subject, 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 LCK paintings were ever produced, and the LCK 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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