Shunso Hishida


Description of Shunso Hishida’s Works

Black Cat

“Black Cat”, illustrated by Shunso Hishida and exhibited in the year before his death, would be one of the most famous cat paintings. You may have not heard about him, but perhaps many of you recognized this painting. Have you heard that he spent only 5 days to complete painting?
He opened up the possibility for the new Japanese art. He always seeked the new method of expressing feeling.He began developing the new method called “no-line drawing method”. Also he tried to adopt the technique, “aerial perspective” from Western painting. Those challenges were hard to accept for critics and they sometimes lambasted his works. However, he was excellent enough to be evaluated highly by Yokoyama Taikan, one of the most influential artists of the modern Japanese paintings. Sadly, the genius artist was inflicted with eye disease. While surviving with his disease, he drew “Wang Zhaojun” and “Fallen Leaves” which later became the important cultural properties. His compilation was “Black Cat” which was drawn the year before his death.
He was working on the painting depicting his wife before “Black Cat”. However, she collapsed from amenia since he was particular about detail of layout. Therefore, he had to complete drawing earlier. The black cat has more presence with contrast between a shade of ink describing the fluffy hair of cat and simplified background to emphasize cat. He got an idea of this method from “no-line drawing” which critics lambasted in the past. After he was reviled by critics, he tried to seek the new technique not relying on clear line.
He spent only one day to complete the background and 4 days for cat. He drew with light ink and shade it over and over to describe the fluffy hair of cat. He even drew from the backside of paper to express more details of cat.
“Black Cat” created a big boom when it was introduced to Art world. Many famous artists like Hakushu Kitahara, Yumeji Takehisa, Gyoshu Hayami were influenced by his work.

Wrote by Pomato