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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)
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Uragami Shunkin

Japanese, 1779 - 1846

A life in nature, away from the distractions of the mundane world, is an ideal state as perceived by the literati in China. Japanese artists studying the Chinese-inspired literati tradition, since the thirteenth century onward, often represented the landscape imagery learned from Southern Song to Ming paintings. In the heart of this scenery dominated by tall peaks, two gentlemen enjoy a conversation in a humble residence within hearing of a nearby murmuring stream.

After traveling throughout Japan with his father, the great literati artist Gyokudo Shunkin (1779-1846) eventually established a reputation as a painter, poet and qin player, and as a member of the literati group in Kyoto. Although generally known for his small-scale work, Shunkin here gives full play to his abilities with a monumental composition and carefully structured spatial expression.
Ink and color on paper
101 1/2 x 48 in. (257.8 x 121.9 cm), overall
68 x 38 in. painting
Gift of Terry Welch in memory of Richard Washburn Welch
Not currently on view

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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