Li Bai admiring a waterfall

This work illustrates the poem View of a waterfall from Mount Lushan composed by Li Bai (701-762), a famous poet of the Tang dynasty (618-907), whose words evoke his admiration for a superb landscape: Under the rays of the sun, purple smoke rises from the incense burner / From far away I contemplate the waterfall suspended beyond the river / Three thousand feet, rapid, it throws and descends, straight as an arrow / It looks like the Milky Way falling from the ninth heaven. Here the poet, wrapped in a light blue coat, the only intense color in a deliberately sober palette, is seated on a rock immersed in a contemplative state of fusion with nature.

Considered one of the major representatives of the Nihonga ("Japanese painting") movement, Yokohama Taikan studied under Kanō Hōgai (1828-1888), the last master of the official Kanō school. In 1889, he was part of the first promotion of artists from the School of Fine Arts in Tōkyō, where he learned to renew traditional Japanese painting by integrating elements of Western painting.



Yokoyama Taikan (1868-1958)
Li Bai admiring a waterfall
Ink and colors on silk
Meiji era (1868-1912), 1902
H: 214,5cm; W: 63,4cm
CM 2015-11
Gift SAMC, 2015

 Photo credit :
© Paris Museums / Cernuschi Museum


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