Takada Ryozan, Colored and gold platter with overhead view of Itsukushima Shrine

Takada Ryozan  高田嶺山

Colored and gold platter with overhead view of Itsukushima Shrine

size ; diameter about 45.5 cm height about 7.7 cm height foot diameter about 25cm

condition ; good  no chips no cracks

On this platter by Takada Ryozan, Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima Prefecture is drawn by the method of bird’s eye view.

For a long time, a lot of paintings of famous places and shrines and temples by bird’s-eye views have been inherited, also many illustrations of Itsukushima Shrine and its surroundings. It is unknown whether Takata drew the Shrine based on painting examples or after his visiting the Shrine in the latter half of the Meiji period, but the viewers will be surprised that instead of the traditional landscape painting (mountains and rivers), Takada drew by bird’s eye view “painting of famous places” of the Shrine several hundred kilometers away from Terai, Ishikawa Prefecture.

It is said that sightseeing maps were drawn by the method of bird’s-eye view since the Meiji period. On this work are drawn mainly the main Shrine, the Shrine Torii at sea, the five-storied pagoda, and other attached buildings and famous places, and herd of deer. The bird’s eye view was useful to draw their positional and perspective relationships by three-dimensional view.

Takada’s painting of Itsukushima Shrine was also influenced through his interaction with Kasama Chikusetsu and Ishida Ichigo who were familiar with Japanese paintings. He might draw the painting as real landscape painting instead of traditional picture of san-sui (mountains and rivers) like a utopia.

This part of the painting also shows the rows of pine trees, the rows of stone lanterns, and herds of deer. From that time, the spot of the rows of pine trees might be a spot popular for overlooking the Torii, the Shrine and the Five-storied Pagoda, and it seems that the scenery was seen by Takada’s eyes.

It is unknown how much tourism had spread in the latter half of the Meiji period, but it is possible that Takada also visited the site because the main railways were already laid out, so he could go to the Shrine and draw the scenery easy to overlook.

On the left side, Toyokuni Shrine and the Five-storied Pagoda, and the scenery of cherry blossoms around the Shrine are drawn as “Miyajima in spring”. The cherry blossoms are colored in white and pink, so that “tsubu” (fine pointillism) look three-dimensional.

Chrysanthemums and autumn leaves are drawn alternately on the back, so they might remind that in autumn Miyajima is also taken as famous places. These paintings and patters might guide Itsukushima Shrine and its surroundings in spring and autumn”.

Inside the round foot, “kutani / Doi / Takada-ga (画)” is written. “kutani” means that it was made in “Ishikawa Pref.”, the place of origin of kutani. A similar example is “Kaga-kuni”. In addition, “Doi” means that this was made by supplier named Doi, a pottery merchant or manufacture at the time. But its details are unknown.

about creator of this work   Takada Ryozan  高田嶺山

Takada Ryozan   born in 1873, died in 1934

It is said that Takada started pottery painting, watching his father’s work at the age of ten, because his father operated a pottery kiln in Terai Village since 1863. Later, Takada studied pottery painting from Kanashima Ganrei (details unknown), and he came to be called Ryozan.

Takada had outstanding skill in drawing sketches, which are the basis of kutani. In addition, at that time, when Western paints became popular in addition to Japanese paints, so, Takada was a considerable researcher about Western paints, and was praised with his skill to use both paints. Some of Takada’s works are well-established in daily life, such as old stories and rice-making drawings, also he preferred a painting style.

reference № 18091312
date of exhibition January 20, 2020
selling & buying under consideration
remarks