Matsumura Keibun, View of Arashiyama, a 6-fold screen painting


British Museum

British Museum

This is a view of Arashiyama, in north-western Kyoto, in the spring. A path skirts along the river, and above are stands of tall pine trees. The cherry trees dotted among them scatter blossoms as their branches are buffeted by the showers and breezes. Most of the screen is left blank, with only occasional, light horizontal bands of gold wash. The artist suggests the hillside obscured by a veil of mist; though in the upper right, another stand of pine trees does emerge from the haze.

Keibun (1779-1843) studied painting under Go Shun (1752-1811), his half-brother, though twenty-seven years his senior. Go Shun was the founder of the Shijō school of Kyoto, which Keibun continued to develop after his brother's death. This elegant work is a good example of the lightness of mood of much Shijō painting. Keibun's landscapes were simple and restrained, with a heightened sense of season and atmospheric conditions.

The signature reads 'Keibun', and the seals read 'Keibun' and 'Shisō' (Keibun's azana, or formal, scholarly name).

Show lessRead more


  • Title: Matsumura Keibun, View of Arashiyama, a 6-fold screen painting
  • Date Created: 1800/1850
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 139.40cm; Width: 298.10cm; Height: 155.00cm (screen); Width: 313.00cm (screen)
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: painted
  • Subject: landscape
  • Registration number: 1972,0724,0.1
  • Production place: Painted in Japan
  • Producer: Painted by Keibun, Matsumura
  • Period/culture: Edo Period
  • Material: paper
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Kegan, Paul & Co. Previous owner/ex-collection Hillier, Jack