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Kōzō Sasaki

Japanese poet, painter and theorist. He was born into a family of physicians in service to the Oka clan of Bungo Province. He first studied medicine, but later became an instructor in Confucian studies at the clan school, the Yūgakukan. In 1801–2 Chikuden studied the verse of China’s Song period (...


Karen M. Gerhart

Japanese painter, art critic and theorist. His family was descended from a tea master and samurai vassal of warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, but by the time of Gyokushū’s birth the Kuwayama had given up Samurai status and become well-to-do shipping merchants. His highly influential essay on ...


David Mannings

English painter, collector and writer. The foremost portrait painter in England in the 18th century, he transformed early Georgian portraiture by greatly enlarging its range. His poses, frequently based on the Old Masters or antique sculpture, were intended to invoke classical values and to enhance the dignity of his sitters. His rich colour, strong lighting and free handling of paint greatly influenced the generation of Thomas Lawrence and Henry Raeburn. His history and fancy pictures explored dramatic and emotional themes that became increasingly popular with both artists and collectors in the Romantic period. As first president of the Royal Academy in London, he did more than anyone to raise the status of art and artists in Britain. His ...


Pyŏn Yŏng-Sŏp

Korean painter, calligrapher and critic. He was born into a prominent literati family in Seoul and became the most influential connoisseur and critic of his time. At the age of 31 he moved to Ahnsan, near Seoul, where he lived for about 30 years. During this time he developed and completed his artistic identity, concentrating on producing various works of art–poetry, calligraphy and paintings. At the age of 61 he took up a civil service post for the first time. This presumably caused him to move back to Seoul, where he lived until his death. While he was in the service he did not lose his enthusiasm for creating art. His late works show a greater refinement and nobleness. In ...


Mark H. Sandler

Japanese painter and daimyo. Lord of the domain of Akita in Dewa Province (now Akita Prefect.), patron and practitioner of Akita ranga (‘Akita Dutch painting’), the school of Western-style painting based in his fief, Shozan advocated empirical study as a means of acquiring practical knowledge. Interested in the study of medicinal plants and in Western technology, he invited the polymath ...


Stephen B. Little

Chinese calligrapher, theorist and scholar–official (see fig.). Born into a distinguished Yangzhou family, Ruan passed the civil-service examination to gain the title of jinshi in 1790. Thereafter he held many important official posts, including compiler at the Hanlin Academy, Supervisor of Imperial Instruction (...