The Chinese artist Shen Quan and his stay in Edo Japan: Sublime nature

The Chinese artist Shen Quan and his stay in Edo Japan: Sublime nature

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Shen Quan (Nanpin) visited Japan during the Edo Period (1603 to 1868). Hailing from China, Shen understood that Nagasaka was a window open to the outside world.

In 1731, Shen visited Japan for two years. During his stay, Shen would gain a following concerning his style of realist art that was embedded in China. Hence, long after leaving Nagasaki, he continued to inspire many future Japanese artists – even if they adopted different art forms.

The Met Museum reports, “In 1731 the Chinese painter Shen Nanpin came to Nagasaki, where he remained for two years. During this time, he taught Japanese students the traditional Chinese style of realist painting, resulting in the formation of the Nagasaki school. After Nanpin returned to China, many works in his style continued to be imported into Japan, and his influence on Japanese painting persisted into the late Edo period.”

Interestingly, Japanese bunjinga (literati painters) artists in the late Edo Period continued to admire the richness of Chinese high culture. Therefore, despite Japan being isolated, the rich legacy of Chinese high culture and philosophy in the pre-Edo period remained firmly rooted.

In his native China, Shen deeply admired Bian Jingzhao and Lu Ji. Thus Shen not only opened up his artistic world to selected Japanese artists during his time in Nagasaki: he also shed light on other Chinese artists who had inspired him. Therefore, Shen introduced Japanese people to an array of Chinese artistic ideas.

Artists including Katsushika Hokusai, Kishi Ganku, Maruyama Okyo, and So Shiseki appreciated the art of Shen.

The small window of Nagasaki enabled Chinese, Dutch, and Japanese artists to introduce new ideas to each other. Hence, Shen made his presence felt despite only staying for a few years in Japan.

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/36106

PLEASE DONATE TO HELP MODERN TOKYO TIMES

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

DONATIONS to SUPPORT MODERN TOKYO TIMES – please pay PayPal and DONATE to sawakoart@gmail.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News

http://sawakoart.com – Sawako Utsumi personal website and Modern Tokyo Times artist

https://moderntokyonews.com Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News

PLEASE JOIN ON TWITTER

https://twitter.com/MTT_News Modern Tokyo Times

https://www.facebook.com/moderntokyotimes/ Facebook

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.