kawabata ryushi


Aizen (Passion) *   -    Kawabata Ryushi ,  1934

Japanese, 1885-1966

168.2 × 168.5 cm.

*  Mandarin duck is a colorful male in courting the female to swim over it. Seemingly heartwarming scene, but Aizen is there means “heart love intense, such as dyed in bright red. Be bound to the men and women of lust.”

Aizen means ‘ Indulgence in Love’

Adachi Museum of Art 


Apropos of absolutely nothing, two paintings by two great Japanese painters, depicting great disasters of their times.

Nagasawa Rosetsu (1754-1799), a student of Maruyama Ôkyo, shows the destruction of the Great Buddha Hall of Kyoto (at Hôkyô-ji), struck by lightning and then destroyed in the resulting fire in 1798.

Just over 150 years later, another great Kyoto landmark, the Golden Pavilion, or Kinkaku-ji, was destroyed by fire - this time by intentional arson. The novelist Mishima Yukio retold the events in a novel; Nihonga painter Kawabata Ryûshi (1885-1966) gives us this, impressive and beautiful, though terrifying and sad, depiction of the event.