What’s Amazing About Kazan Watanabe?
Carefully Detailed Portrait: Is Chief Retainer a Portrait Painter?
Kazan Watanabe was a samurai in later Edo period and a chief retainer of domains of Mikawa-Tahara. He had a talent in painting when he was a boy. He learned painting from his relatives and artist. However, he had a hard time to pay the fee. He learned painting for just a hobby. He wanted to be paid as an artist. When he became a fellow of Kinryo Kaneko, he had to paint many pictures of garden lantern. He found a way to paint fast from this work.
He was a key member in political situation. When he discussed with Choei Takano about famine, he illustrated in the presentation.
Even though he created many of painting for living and a political reason, he was the best at painting a portrait. He left a lot of portraits.
If a model was dead, normally artist would paint while remembering the memory. When Kinrei Takizawa, his model died, he went to see Kinrei’s dead body. He painted while touching the body because he focused on photorealistic.
His works look like old picture at a glance. You can see how he focused on realism.
He was also good at writing and left a travel writing. Many of his works are the best to learn customs at that time.
Wrote by Rei Yuki