In 1934 one hundred years (by Japanese count) after Chikuden’s death a memorial exhibition was held in Kan'ei-ji temple in Tokyo. The inscription on the box lid by Chikuden’s great-grandson and the accompanying certificate by the Imperial Office for Art Certification suggest that this painting was shown in that exhibition.
The painting shows a group of literati enjoying their elegant gathering with tea, talks and the blessings of autumnal nature. The long inscription on the painting reads: "Away from everyday matters, I planted some fragrant laurels. The bushes shadow on the short fence and welcome a friend in front of “Lu Liang” tower. We made a new poem close by a chestnut branch, enjoying the fragrance. The perfume purifies greed and beautiful sceneries are not hidden. I examined the mountain to remember, though once back home I hadn’t drawn for a while and it was lost a bit.
In the pine tree valley, you come to the house. Having tea and discuss about its fragrance. The fragrant laurels fully bloom and its perfume shimmers down in the mid-day light. The den in the drawing blurs as days pass, and it will complete by itself. The poem cannot show how the light spreads."
The title on the box lid reads: Master Chikuden light color drawing “Elegant gathering in the Autumn Mountain”. But a long inscription on the inside of the box lid is more revealing: “My great-grandfather passed away 100 years ago. It is rare to find authentic pieces by him. This piece is one of them. Not only from the paper and the mounting, the drawing seems that it might have been created around 1832. The brush work goes freely; the poem theme is highly elegant and classic like by an ancient scholar. Having finished the viewing, I wrote this. At Chikuden-So, April 1934, the great-grandson Tanomura Shochiku (1877-1945).
“Tanomura Chikuden, Elegant gathering in the Autumn Mountain” – The above, no doubt, is authentic. – July 10th, 1934 Imperial Office for Art Certification" (Teikoku Bijutsu Kantei Kyoku).
We declare that this piece “Elegant gathering in the Autumn Mountain” is an authentic work by Master Tanomura Chikuden. 1998, Master of Ii-an Yasuda Kyoshin (1922-2009).
Tanomura Chikuden (1777-1835)
Ink and color on fabric
141 x 51.2 cm (55 ½ x 20 in.)
Mounting 226 x 63 cm (89 x 24 ¾ in.)
Wooden box with inscription,