Maruyama Okyo



Daruma Pilgrims Gallery


Maruyama Ookyo

Maruyama Ōkyo (1733–1795; 円山 応挙)

born Maruyama Masataka, was a Japanese artist active in the late 18th century.

He moved to Kyoto at a young age, during which he studied artworks from Chinese, Japanese and Western sources. A personal style of Western naturalism mixed with Eastern decorative design emerged, and Ōkyo founded the Maruyama school of painting. Although many of his fellow artists criticized his work as too slavishly devoted to natural representation, it proved a success with laymen.

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Ōkyo's painting style merged a tranquil version of Western naturalism with the Eastern decorative painting of the Kanō school. His works show a Western understanding of highlight and shadow. His realism differed from previous Japanese schools in its devotion to nature as the ultimate source with no regard for sentiment. Ōkyo's intricately detailed plant and animal sketches show a great influence from European nature drawings. An album of leaves in the Nishimura Collection in Kyoto (now in handscroll form) depicts several animals and plants, each labeled as if in European guidebook.

Still, Ōkyo's works remain Japanese. Unlike European painting, Ōkyo's images have very few midtones. Moreover, he follows the Eastern tradition in depicting objects with very little setting; often his pictures feature a single subject on a plain background. The result is a more immediate naturalism with a decorative and reflective feel.

This was achieved through skillful brush handling; Ōkyo painted with a broad, flat brush, which he would load with more paint on one side. This created broad strokes that vary in paint coverage. Nature was not his only subject; many works by Ōkyo depict normal scenes from life in Kyoto's commercial area.

His Geese Alighting on Water, painted at Emmanin, Ōtsu in 1767, is an early example of his mature style. The subject is treated as a part of nature; nothing philosophical is implied as had been done with such imagery in the East Asian tradition.Likewise, Kingfisher and Trout, painted in 1769, features a bird near the top of the image, waiting for a fish. The trout swims under a large rock near the center. Bird, fish, and stone all appear as they do in nature, creating a matter-of-fact, comprehensible, and natural-looking piece.

Later in his ouvre, Pine Trees in Snow, executed in 1773 for the wealthy Mitsui family, is realistic despite being in the Japanese idiom of ink on a gold background. The two six-panel screens show tree bark and pine needles separated by differing brush strokes, and the white snow seems to weigh down the branches.The bark is painted in the tsuketate technique, which uses no outlines, just dark and light shades to create the illusion of volume.

Hozu Rapids, painted in 1795, is one of Ōkyo's later works. On two eight-fold screens it depicts a tree and a cluster of rocks with some dragons. The work thus shows Ōkyo's ability to render the natural elements in a convincingly realistic fashion. However, the dragons, according to art critics such as Paine, demonstrate a weakness; they are treated academically, thus losing their grand, legendary essence.

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....... ............. H A I K U

Okyo Memorial Day, Ookyo Ki 応挙忌 (おうきょき)
kigo for autumn

1733年6月12日) - (1795年8月31日)
August 31

matsu haru ya Maruyama Ookyo kujaku no zu

waiting for spring ...
Maruyama Ookyo
Painting of Peackocks

Maeda Yoriko
Tr. Gabi Greve


Five Puppies

family photo
playing tug of war
on Easter Sunday

- Shared by Jimmy ThePeach -
Haiku Culture Magazine, 2013




Saijiki - - - Memorial Days of Famous People

Daruma Pilgrims in Japan



Anonymous said...

painting course ...
who wants to pose
as the peacock?

:>) Ella Wagemakers
* other candidate-animals -- cow, bird of paradise, monkey, cat
* no kigo here, as you may notice ... or is there?

Anonymous said...

Gabi san, you are special

Thank you very much



Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Aomori, Tsugaru
Kudoji 久渡寺 Kudo-Ji

ashi no nai yuurei 「足のない幽霊 ghost without legs

幽霊画 by
. 円山応挙 Maruyama Okyo .

Legend knows that it will definitely rain when this painting is shown to the public, so it was only shown in dire need during a draught.
Visiting the temple

Gabi Greve said...

Skeleton Performing Zazen on Waves, Maruyama Okyo
(Daijoji Temple, Hyogo, Japan)

Ōkyo’s “Skeleton”, Not Performing Zazen;
Reflections on the Iconography of the Daijōji’s kyakuden
Beatrice Shoemaker

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Kanazawa

Once a woman died shortly before giving birth and her grave was made in the temple 道入寺 Donyu-Ji. From that day on every evening there came a woman to 飴屋 the sweet shop to buy sweets. The shop owner thought this strange and followed her. She disappeared near the Sotoba of a grave. When they dug open the next morning they found a baby licking sweets.
The priest of the temple took the baby, called it Doogen 道玄 Dogen and brought the boy up to become a merciful priest.
To always remember the good deed of his ghost mother, he went to the painter 円山応挙 Maruyama Okyo and asked him to paint a hanging scroll of her ghost.
with photo here