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Portrait of Takami Senseki

National Treasure Gallery: Portrait of Takami Senseki / Honkan Room 2   March 15, 2016 (Tue) - April 10, 2016 (Sun)

  
Portrait of Takami Senseki, By Watanabe Kazan, Edo period, dated 1837 (National Treasure)

This is a portrait of Takami Senseki (1785–1858), a top-ranking samurai official of Koga domain, Shimosa province, who was posted in the capital of Edo (now Tokyo). It was painted by Watanabe Kazan (1793–1841), a retainer of Tahara domain, Mikawa province. Although Kazan was favored by his lord from an early age, his family suffered financially in part because of his father’s poor health. Kazan painted to support his family and studied Confucianism while showing an interest in Western scholarship. He became a high-ranking official within his domain and participated in political reforms but was arrested in 1839 during an incident in which the government persecuted scholars of Western studies. He took his own life two years later while under house arrest. Senseki was Kazan’s senior in Western studies and although their respective domains were of different sizes, they shared a close relationship through their mutual concern for Japan’s future. The inscription on this portrait of Senseki dates it to the 15th day of the 4th month of 1837. Doi Toshitsura, who was Senseki’s lord and serving as the keeper of Osaka Castle, suppressed the rebellion of Oshio Heihachiro. Senseki went to his lord’s family temple, Seiganji in Edo, in place of his lord in order to convey the news. On his return, he visited Kazan, which is when Kanzan created this portrait of him in formal attire. Although the face, devoid of wrinkles, is depicted in an idealized style that incorporates Western-style shading, other details, such as the mole under the nose, are faithfully depicted. In contrast, the garment is portrayed with sharp lines in a traditional Japanese style. Senseki’s dignity is captured through a harmony of Western and Japanese, realism and spiritualism. This work was repaired between October 2013 and September 2015 through a grant from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project.

 

 

Conservation Prject for the National Treasure Portrat of Takami Senseki and Preliminary Drawing for the Portrait of Master Tsubouchi by Watanabe Kazan, and Other Works

Conservation Prject for the National Treasure Portrat of Takami Senseki and Preliminary Drawing for the Portrait of Master Tsubouchi by Watanabe Kazan, and Other Works

The pamphlet is available at the Information desk, Honkan 1st  floor during the thematic exhibition period

PDFPDF, 5.60MB)

 

 

List of Exhibits 1results
  Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
_MD_EXPLANATION National Treasure Portrait of Takami Senseki   By Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841) Edo period, dated 1837 (Tenpo 8)    

 

Related Exhibition

   Conservation and Restoration of the Tokyo National Museum Collection Honkan Room T1   March 15, 2016 (Tue) - April 24, 2016 (Sun)