Rosetsu: Ferocious Brush

By Matthew McKelway and Khanh Trinh

Rosetsu: Ferocious Brush surveys the art of 18th century Japanese painter Nagasawa Rosetsu. Focusing on 60 of his most important paintings, Matthew McKelway, the Takeo and Itsuko Atsumi Professor of Japanese Art History at Columbia, and Khanh Trinh, curator of Japanese and Korean art at the Rietberg Museum in Zurich, trace his art from early work in the realist mode of his teacher Maruyama Okyo, to the haunting, visionary, and occasionally bizarre nature of his final masterpieces. Born into a family of low-ranking samurai, Rosetsu (1754-1799) is considered one of the most imaginative artists of early modern Japan, with screen paintings, scrolls, and albums depicting Zen eccentrics, raucous children, ethereal beauties, otherworldly landscapes, animals, and birds.