Portraits of Thirty-six Immortal Poets

IWASA Matabei17th century

Fukuoka Art Museum

Fukuoka Art Museum

Iwasa Matabei, a painter active during the Edo period (1615-1868), was the son of Araki Murashige (d. 1586), a general of the Warring States period (1467-1567), who plotted treason against the powerful warlord, Oda Nobunaga (1534-82). After his father's failed revolt, Matabei took on his mother's surname, Iwasa. Although he studied the Tosa and Kano schools, he painted freely not conforming to their formal styles and techniques. Matabei was patronized by the families of the shogun and warlords, and influenced town painters, gaining the popular name, "Ukiyo Matabei." His highly individualistic expression of figures, especially those with oblong faces and plump cheeks, are well known. Although the artist painted several sets of the thirty-six immortal poets, this distinctive series, in which the features of the poets are extremely deformed and exaggerated, is considered one of Matabei's earliest paintings of the thirty-six immortals and is also among his most important works.

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  • Title: Portraits of Thirty-six Immortal Poets
  • Creator: IWASA Matabei
  • Date: 17th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w21.6 x h21 cm
  • Materials and Techniques (Japanese): 紙本着色
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Color on paper