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Translation of Scroll Painting

Posted By: rat
Posted Date: Feb 17, 2017 (12:25 PM)

Sure, this is a Japanese painting in Chinese style, likely mid 20th century or a few decades earlier. Kanji is simply the Japanese name for Chinese characters that the Japanese adopted, but you are right, the inscription which seems to be a poem includes none of the Japanese syllabary (hiragana/katakana).

The last column of text includes a reference to the artist, who is using a pen name 秋水 (literally autumn waters) and says that he is 70 years old at the time "in the winter of his years" if I am reading correctly. the first seal corroborates the pen name, I can't read the second.

The style of ink dots in the hills is loosely based on the lineage of Chinese painter Mi Fu and his son Mi Youren. As here Japanese painters often repeat the dotting in their foreground foliage, which to me doesn't really unify the painting, though I assume that is the artist's intention. See also somewhat similar landscapes by Chinese painter Zhu Da, aka Bada Shanren.

This is not a great painting but is genuine (not a fake or copy that I cant tell) and represents Japanese taste in Chinese style. The artist is likely quite minor but others may be able to comment as I don't know Japanese painting well.

I don't know of dealers in NY selling inexpensive Japanese paintings; others may. One high end dealer on the upper east side is Kaikodo; check their website. Instead you can do quite well on ebay. There are reliable Japanese sellers and you can find good quality paintings, albeit often with a bit of damage, whether to the mounting or water damage to the painting surface, for $100+/-

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