7110 A pair of six-fold paper screens painted in ink on a gold ground. The right hand screen depicts a dragon amongst clouds above cresting waves and the left hand screen shows a rocky landscape with bamboo and a leaping tiger before a waterfall.
Signed: *Hōgen Tansaku gyōnen rokujūgo-sai hitsu (Painted by Tansaku with the title of hōgen at the age of 65)
Japan 18th century Edo period
Dimensions: H. 66¼” x W. 146¼” (168cm x 371cm)
Tsurusawa Tansaku (ca. 1729-1797)
Given name: Tsuruzawa Moriteru, Gō (art name): Tansaku
Tansaku was the son of the court painter Tsuruzawa Tangei (1688-1769) and painted in a traditional Kanō style. He was one of Maruyama Ōkyo’s first teachers and later in his career received the title of *hōgen, the second highest honorary title bestowed upon artists.
In the traditional cosmology of China the tiger is one of the Four Sacred Creatures, it represents autumn, the west, the wind and the colour white. It is thus the compliment of the dragon, which represents the east, the spring and water. The interaction of the two, the play of wind and water – is thought vital for creating weather that makes soil fertile and crops prosper.
Works by the artist can be found in the collection of: The Fine Arts Museum, Boston; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis.
For a similar single six-fold screen showing a dragon amongst clouds see Indianapolis Museum of Art, acquisition number 79.350 and for a pair of screens with the same subject matter painted by Kanō Tan’yu see: Nihon Byōbu-e Shūsei, vol.16: Soju ga (Wild Animals)- Dragons, Tigers and Monkeys, p.34-35, pl.22 & 23.