Mori Ippō, Pine trees at Maiko-no-Hama beach, a pair of 6-fold screen paintings


British Museum

British Museum

Maiko-no-Hama beach is on the coast of the Inland Sea not far from Osaka. It is mentioned, as the Setouchi beach, in ancient poetry from the eighth-century Manyōshū poetry anthology. Ippō must have visited the beach many times. His spare, elegant composition is very close in style to screen paintings by Maruyama ōkyo (1733-95), working more than half a century before. Indeed, Ippō may have based his composition on one by the earlier master; the realistic modelling of the pine trees, the rocks and the line of the waves are particularly reminiscent of ōkyo. Ippō also created a sense of deep space using techniques which ōkyo had adapted from Western models. Seated on tatami mats on the floor, the viewer would have the impression of looking through the pine trees over the expanse of the sea fading away towards the horizon.

Mori Ippō (1794-1871) was born on the island of Kyūshū but moved to Osaka. He mastered the painting style of the Maruyama-Shijō school from his teacher, Mori Tetsuzan (1775-1841), who was one of Maruyama ōkyo's 'Ten Great Disciples'. Ippō married Tetsuzan's daughter and was adopted into the Mori family to carry on the Maruyama-Shijō tradition in Osaka after Tetsuzan's death. Another adopted son of Tetsuzan, Mori Kansai, was sent to Kyoto to expand the Mori family's activities there. The Mori family constituted in effect a 'sub-school' within the broader Maruyama-Shijō tradition.

The signature reads 'Ippō' and the seals read 'Mori Keishi' and 'Shikō-shi'. The inscription on the right screen reads: 'Kōka hinoto hitsuji shotō sha' ('Painted in the tenth month, 1847').

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  • Title: Mori Ippō, Pine trees at Maiko-no-Hama beach, a pair of 6-fold screen paintings
  • Date Created: 1847/1847
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 175.00cm (each); Width: 366.50cm (each)
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: painted
  • Subject: beach scene
  • Registration number: 1984,0601,0.1-2
  • Production place: Painted in Japan
  • Producer: Painted by Mori Ippo. After Okyo, Maruyama
  • Period/culture: Koka Era
  • Material: paper
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Henderson, Milne