PRINT January 2015

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rediscovering the Kano School

Kano Hideyori, Maple Leaf Viewing at Mount Takao, ca. mid-sixteenth century, pigment on paper, 4' 11 1/8“ × 11' 11 7/8”. Photo: TNM Image Archives.

THE KANO ARE BACK. This spring will see two major exhibitions on the art of this formidable clan, which held sway over Japanese painting for three and a half centuries through a virtual monopoly of the highest levels of patronage and a domination of artistic pedagogy throughout the Japanese islands. “Ink and Gold: Art of the Kano,” an exhibition opening next month at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will, in its four-hundred-year sweep of major works, take the standard approach to Kano-painting exhibitions held over the past few decades. And the Kyoto National Museum will host “Kano Painters of the Momoyama Period: Eitoku’s Legacy,” a more narrowly focused exhibition that will probe deeply into the four decades at the turn of the seventeenth century that were the Kano’s most dynamic, during which the school’s painters produced ever more lavish works for competing patrons in Japan’s

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