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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Hototogisu in Summer Valley

Hototogisu in Summer Valley


Mori Kansai

Japanese, 1814 - 1894

The oldest artist represented in this gallery, Kansai belonged to an earlier generation of Japanese painters who were already at the peak of their careers at the time of the Meiji Restoration in 1868. The influx of foreigners, along with Western technology and new artistic influences, did not greatly alter the path of this leading Kyoto painter. Kansai continued through his later years to paint in the orthodox Maruyama style, which emphasized naturalism and drawing from life. Kansai’s realistic depiction of the songbird in flight and the blossoming azaleas are beautifully contrasted by the more decorative rendering of the canopy of leaves, cropped at the top by the edge of the picture plane.

Hanging scroll: ink and light colors on silk
99 7/8 x 34 7/8 in. (253.7 x 88.6cm)
Gift of Griffith and Patricia Way, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum
Not currently on view


Published ReferencesMichiyo, Morioka; Berry, Paul. "Modern Masters of Kyoto: The Transformation of Japanese Painting Traditions," Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1999, p. 70, illus. 4.

The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.