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Kano Motonobu

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Japanese, (1476–1559)
Kano painter. Lived in Kyoto. Eldest son of Kano Masanobu and true founder of the Kano school. Received Zen instruction at the Reiun-in, but remained a layman. Married Chiyo, daughter of Tosa Mitsunobu (herself a painter, using go of Mitsubisa); on his father-in-law's death, succeeded to management of Tosa family business, inheriting the court honors and becoming head of the Edokoro of the Ashikaga shogunate. (Is even recorded as having worked on a pair of screens with Tosa Mitsushige.) At the same time, served as gayo eshi to the imperial court. Given title of hogen. No painting actually signed by him is known to exist. Contributed much to making Kano school of painting the official one of the shogunate, putting it on a solid footing by adapting Chinese traditions of Shubun and Josetsu to the Japanese spirit. Painted landscapes and kachoga in strong ink brush strokes, adding bright color; restored to painting traditional Japanese Iyricism and decorative quality, tendencies that became standard Kano features. His style, a pleasant and easily assimilated one, well adapted to large surfaces: the beginning of great mural painting. -- Roberts, L. Dictionary of Japanese Artists (1980)

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