When Gyokudo Kawai passed away at the age of 83 in June, 1957, a Japanese painter, Kiyokata Kaburagi, who felt deep sorrow, said "I feel that Japan's mountains and rivers are all gone, and that Japan's landscapes are also all gone". As Kaburagi said, the essence of Gyokudo's art was to draw beautiful Japanese nature and the people living in its midst. Although there are many similar landscape painters, there are very few who painted the uniquely familiar landscapes that he did.
In this painting, whose theme is Mt. Myogi in the late fall, Gyokudo has drawn a person and horse riding into the highlands, showing a vastness of space, while completely expressing the mountainous area's tranquility, mixed with a slight loneliness to give a feeling of deepening fall. This expression is reserved and simple to the end and never becomes overbearing, and as a result, it slowly fills our hearts with a warm feeling.
Since much of Japan's once abundant nature has now been lost, the world that Gyokudo drew speaks quietly to viewers and make the Japanese heart feel at home.
(Source: Selected Works from the Collection of Nagoya City Art Museum, 1998, P. 79.)


  • Title: White Cloud on Beautiful Mountains in Autumn
  • Creator: Gyokudo Kawai
  • Date Created: c.1940
  • Location: Japan
  • Physical Dimensions: 78.8×99.4 cm
  • Provenance: Purchased in 1986
  • Type: Japanese style Painting
  • Rights: Nagoya City Art Museum
  • Medium: Color on silk (hanging scroll)

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