Pine Trees by the Ocean
Kawashima Baikyu (b.1896)
Item number: T-2196
Era: Taisho era (1912-1926)
Pair of six-panel screens; ink, mineral colors, gofun, gold, and gold wash on paper
Each: H 66.5" x W 146" (168.91 x 370.84 cm)
Signature (right-hand screen only): Baikyū
Seal (right-hand screen only): Kawashima Ya [no] in (Seal of Kawashima Ya)
Seal (both screens): Baikyū
This masterly depiction of pine trees at the ocean’s edge reflects prevailing trends in Kyoto screen painting during the first quarter of the twentieth century. In contrast to the traditional handling of this format, the two screens are treated as a continuous, unbroken pictorial surface and the artist adopts a high viewpoint, almost as if he himself was perched in the branches of a nearby tree.
A native of Kyoto, Kawashima Baikyū trained under the landscape painter Shōda Kakuyū (1879–1947), a regular exhibitor from 1907 at the prestigious Bunten National Salon. Baikyū’s work was accepted for exhibition the Bunten in 1918, when he was only 22 years old, suggesting that he already possessed a prodigious talent. The lack of any subsequent exhibition information regarding Kawashima Baikyū—who is not to be confused with Kawashima Baikan (1902–1977)—suggests that he may sadly have passed away at an early age.