Plum Blossoms and Birds, by Kanō Eitoku
This painting is placed at Juko-in Temple in Kyoto and is said to have been painted by Kanō Eitoku (1543-1590) at the age of 23. However, as a result of the recent reinvestigation and reexamination of the style and construction date of the temple, there is a theory that it was built when he was around 40 years old (Around 1583). The plum tree rises with a firm grip on the earth. and the trunk twists and bends through the top of the screen. It’s like a breath of life. The beating of the plum tree runs up the trunk and stretches the branches which go through the abundant water and reach close to the other bank.
His brushstrokes are quick and powerful, but not clumsy at all. The most talented painter in the Kanō School seems to have conveyed the joy of spring from his hand to the brush. His relaxed brushwork is one of the reasons he fascinates viewers. While following the Kacho-ga style (flowers and birds painting) of Kanō Motonobu (1476-1559), who was the grandfather of the painters and the founder of the Kanō school, the overwhelming dynamism of Eitoku’s works greatly deviated from Motonobu’s and achieved a breakthrough unique to painters.