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  • By Li Zai
  • 1 hanging scroll
  • Ink and light color on silk
  • 138.8x83.2
  • Ming period/15th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • TA-145

Rizai was a court painter who was active during the Sentoku era (1426 to 1436) in the Ming period. He was born in Hoden (Fujian Province). He excelled in sansuiga and was regarded as an important painter second to Taishin, the founder of a school called Seppa in the Sentoku Dynasty. In Japan, Rizai is known as one of a few masters under whom Sesshu, who went over to China (Ming Dynasty) during the Muromachi period, learned painting. While art history books in China say that Rizai's sansuiga techniques reflect those of Kakuki in the Northern Song period and Baen and Kakei in the Southern Song period, his existing works show that he established his own style after learning diverse styles of the Song and Yuan periods, including the Beihosansui school of the Konan type (groups in the southern part of the Yangtze) initiated by Beifutsu and Beiyujin. This painting is Rizai's best sansuiga and seems to demonstrate his intention to follow the style of Kakuki and depict a large space with mountains and water centering on the high mountain in the center. While his brushwork shows the rough representation characteristic of the Seppa school, this picture demonstrates his overall gracefulness and high ability as a court painter as shown by Rizai's seal of "Bokkakojun" affixed to the painting..