Eccentrics 奇想派

The best-known Eccentric painters of the Edo period (1615-1868) are Nagasawa Rosetsu (1754-1799), Soga Shohaku (1730-1781), and Ito Jakuchu (1716-1800). These well-trained artists used bold, unorthodox compositions, and often deviated from their contemporaries in both subject matter and brushwork. The creativity of these individuals has been recognized in the past twenty years through important exhibitions and collections.

Nagasawa Rosetsu, one of the most famous pupils of Maruyama Okyo (1733-1795), painted finely detailed works in his master’s style. Later his individual expression was seen in bold formats and dashing designs of birds, animals, human figures, and landscapes.

Soga Shohaku, whose work initially resembled Muromachi-period (1336-1573) ink painting, ultimately devised wild, almost surreal depictions of ghosts, demons, and bizarre Zen-like images.

Ito Jakuchu, like Rosetsu, worked in both ink and color, producing monochrome portrayals of animals, vegetables, and Zen-inspired subjects as well as colorful images of birds, flowers and animals remarkable for their vibrancy, detail, and refinement.


An example in the Eccentrics style (left):

Nagasawa ROSETSU (1754–1799)
Boy and Ox
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