Hoitsu, an aristocrat by birth, studied different styles of paintings. He first followed the Kano school of art and later on turned to the Rinpa school. The name ‘Rinpa’ meaning ‘rin school’ was named on Ogata Korin, (1658-1716), one of the greatest and the most influential artists of this school. A group of artists, whose work consists of bright colors, bold forms and lavish surfaces that are often enhanced with gold and silver, is called Rinpa. Korin’s work was ore decorative and delicate in nature and Hoitsu admired him very much.
He collected Korin’s pieces of art and also published his illustrated works. Hoitsu himself was known for creating soft, delicate and elegant pieces of art. His best works are mainly exquisite screens and scrolls painted on silver and gold. Two of his works held in high regard are, ‘Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons’—a scroll and ‘Stream amid Summer and Autumn Flowers’—a screen. Hoitsu’s works, often in bold, richly colored compositions, were based on poetry, anthologies and verses from the Helen times. During the Edo period, a popular style of art was the Ukiyo-e.
It portrayed scenes from Japan’s urban lifestyle, the fashions and the trends. Besides, Hoitsu also studied the Nanga style and the Maruyama school, before he became a Rinpa painter. 2 Mt Horai by Sakai Hoitsu 3 Mt Horai is an imaginary island in Japan where the immortals are believed to live. It is the ‘isle of blessings and perhaps the vertical rock formations in some gardens in Japan that evoked this. The early Chinese writings find a mention of Horai, as the lofty mountain on a fabled island in the distant sea, which contained the pine, bamboo and plum.
In the world of art, pine manifests longevity, bamboo rectitude and plum blossom, fragrance and grace. This hanging scroll by Sakai Hoitsu, is mainly in ink, colors and gold on silk leaf. The seals and signature date to the Edo period and the signatures could be of some of his contemporaries or painters that he admired and whose work he illustrated. Hoitsu, it is said, used powdered gold and precious stones in his pigments. The hanging scroll of Mt. Horai is known for its artistic fidelity and a real finesse to the objects represented. There is no meretricious ornamentation.
The graceful brush strokes, the exquisite combination of light and shade throughout, and the effectiveness, with which the masses have been treated, make it a real visual delight.
1. http://www. artlex. com/ArtLex/e/edo. html
2. http://learn. bowdoin. edu/japanesegardens/glossary. html
3. http://books. google. com/books? id=DY0XiflmVIAC&pg=PA42&lpg=PA42&dq=Sakai+Hoitsu+’s+techniques+and+styles&source=bl&ots=87I25vyCXA&sig=Th9f3bwoBNEJAhP6Urv3SL21_VM&hl=en&ei=YvSmSfmpJZCo6gPurJXECw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result
4. http://www. davidrumsey. com/amica/amico559506-10671. html