Art of Japan and Ikeda Koson: Hinoki Cypresses
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Japanese artist, Ikeda Koson, died just before the Meiji period began. Thus, Koson belongs to the late stages of the Edo Period.
His earlier life was firmly based on the rich traditions of Japanese art. However, in the decades before the ending of the Edo Period, new artistic ideas were increasingly being felt in Japan. Therefore, he felt these new artistic convulsions.
Throughout his artistic life, the influence of Sakai Hôitsu (1761-1828) remained. Despite this, Koson would experiment and adopt a more free-flowing approach to art.
Koson’s stunning art of Hinoki Cypresses is delightful despite its relative simplicity. This concerns a sense of drama unfolding. Therefore, despite the subject matter being undramatic – along with the limited color scheme -a potent atmospheric art piece still emerges.
On the Met Museum website, it says, “In this dramatic close-up of a single landscape element, Ikeda Koson renders a timeless moment in a grove of hinoki cypresses. He depicts an atmosphere of misty space and shifting light by skillfully varying ink tones from black to gray in the leaves of frond-like branchlets. Texture and form result from the application of wet ink over pale washes on the tree trunks.”
Koson also excelled in ink painting.
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