Muramatsu Ungai | Painting
Mr. Tsukamoto was a merchant in the rural area of Omi province on the shores of scenic lake Biwa northeast of Kyoto. Like many of his peers he was rich, like many he enjoyed the distractions his money would pay for. But unlike many he shared his wealth with others. He planted trees in the village for everyone to enjoy, and he supported young local artis. When Ungai was twenty (1890) he left for Kyoto. And on Tsukamoto’s recommendation he was accepted by grand old master painter Mori Kansai (1814-1894). After Kansai’s death Ungai continued with Suzuki Shonen (1849-1918), who was young, hip, and successful.Tsukamoto kept on being supportive. He and later his sons purchased many of the scrolls on their frequent trips to Kyoto and to Ungai’s studio. The Gokasho Merchant Museum showed a retrospective in 2000. And most of some seventy scrolls in the show came from the private Tsukamoto collection. The seals reveal two aspects of Ungai personality. The rural, simple, and cheerful upbringing - Dwelling in the Chicken Buddy Hall - and his serene, solemn, and sophisticated later live - An unattached live is like the wind and the water flowing through stones, a line from a longer poem by Song-Dynasty poet Su Shi.
Muramatsu Ungai (1870-1926)
Ink on paper
133 x 31 cm (52¼ x 12¼ in.)
Mounting 194 x 43 cm (46 ¼ x 17 in.)