Kanō Sanraku (狩野 山楽, 1559 – 1635)
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Set of sliding doors of Plum tree by Kanō Sanraku
Pair of screens with tigers and storm-dragon by Kanō Sanraku, 17th century, each 1.78 x 3.57 metres.
In this Japanese name, the family name is Kanō.
Kanō Sanraku (狩野 山楽?, 1559 – September 30, 1635) was a Japanesepainter also known as Kimura Heizō (his birth name), Shūri, Mitsuyori, andSanraku. Sanraku's works combine the forceful quality of Momoyama work with the tranquil depiction of nature, and they have a more refined use of color typical of the Edo period.
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His father was the painter Kimura Nagamitsu who flourished circa 1570, and he was born in Shiga Prefecture and died in Kyoto.
Sanraku worked for Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 1570s, which lead to him studying under and being adopted by Kanō Eitoku.Sanraku was the half-sibling and teacher of Kanō Sansetsu, and became Eitoku's son-in-law and later the head of the Kanō school. When Sanraku had no son he married Kano Sansetsu (1589–1651) to his daughter and adopted him. Sansetsu and his school remained in Kyoto when most Kanō artists moved to Edo (often after a summons from the shogun), and he continued to adhere to the brightly coloured style of the Momoyama period. His son Einō painted in the same style, but is better known for a biographical history of Japanese painting, which gave the Kanō school pride of place.
Sanraku's patrons included Tokugawa Hidetada. Like most Kanō artists of the period, he painted in a variety of styles, including both large works for decorating castles (like the two illustrated), and smaller scrolls, often in a monochrome style derived from Chinese ink-wash painting.
The three laughing men of the valley of the tiger, screen, color, India ink, and gold on paper. Tokyo National Museum.