*This site is is best viewed on a PC or laptop.


Kanō Masanobu

1434-1530 Japan/Kanō School


Brief Biography-Oda Nobunaga, 1534-1582, was the first of three critical military men who founded the newly unified Japan. The second was Toyotomi Hideyoshi 1537-1598. Japan named the Momoyama period after the palace he built called Momoyama or Peach Hill in English. The third was Tokugawa Ieyasu 1543-1616; the Tokugawa shogunate ruled for over two hundred and fifty years. Ieyasu became Shogun in 1603.
The Kanō school was established in Kyoto and spread to all of Japan. Kanō artists redecorated temples and residences destroyed by a century of civil wars for powerful military families. Their work included gold leaf sliding screens, folding doors, ink paintings, hanging scrolls and fans, and they worked for the aristocracy, Samurai, the Buddhist clergy, and the merchants.
Kanō Masanobu, who studied under Tenshō Shūbun, is credited as the school’s founder. He was a member of a Samurai house and appointed as the official artist to the Shogunate; Sesshū Tōyōfirst declined the post. Masanobu agreed to paint in the Kanga or Chinese manner of Song and Yuan monochrome painting. Through his position, he established the Kanō School as a line of professional painters who worked for warrior patrons and the merchant classes. Masanobu trained his son Kanō Motonobu who continued the Kanō tradition of Kanga monochrome painting but also painted in the Yamato-e style of Japanese art.


Click an Image to Enlarge


shogun ashikaga

shogun ashikaga yoshihisa

zhou maoshu
appreciating lotuses

zhou maoshu appreciating lotuses