Friday, April 22, 2011

in all seasons

After I made the decision to start a project about Mt Fuji, February started and it was one cloudy or grey day after another. The above photo is taken from my kitchen in Shibuya. I had been thinking mostly about seeing Fuji was different locations, not particularly seeing different weather phenomena, although that certainly becomes a theme when you start obsessively trying to see it daily and looking at artistic representations of the mountain.

One of the artist projects that has particularly resonated with the desire to observe and record is a scroll by Minamoto Sadayoshi. Started in the early spring of 1818, after a heavy snow fall, he records Mt Fuji's receding snow line and other weather phenomena twice a month, at the beginning and the middle. Apart from this scroll there is not much know about the artist. I found the reference to it in Timothy Clarke's catalogue 100 Views of Mount Fuji, held at the British Museum in 2001. The inscription on the front panel of the scroll is:
Thirty-one views of summit of Mt Fuji, seen from the west in all seasons
The west side is opposite side to Tokyo and Mt Hoei is visible on the right hand side. The mountain's silhouette is almost the same as the view from the shinkansen.

The above panel is one of seven additional panels included in the scroll, of unusual weather phenomena and is of a cloud formation known as a 'travelling hat' formation. I am wondering whether the cloud on the diamond Fuji postcard is a travelling hat. The cloud depicted here looks really solid with a definite cone shape, rather than the misty halo on the postcard.

I didn't trim the photo above as I particularly like the museum archiving around the painting: the ruler, accession number, and colour chart; and the teasing edges of the next drawing. Unfortunately this is the only image from the scroll on the digital database.

No comments:

Post a Comment