Kano Hogai(狩野芳崖): The Father of Modern Japanese-Style Painting

Kano Hogai 狩野 芳崖 (1828-1888) was a 19th century Japanese painter of the Kano School. His “Avalokitesvara as a Merciful Mother 悲母観音” (1888) is acclaimed as the first masterpiece in the development of modern Japanese-style painting.

Together with Okakura Tenshin 岡倉 天心, Hogai devoted himself to create a new Japanese painting style, which was rooted in tradition. Earnest Fenollosa (1853-1908), who introduced the wonders of Japanese traditional art to America and the world, became a strong patron of Hogai after meeting him in 1883. He encouraged Hogai to adapt Western pictorial concepts such as linear perspective and modeling in light and shade.

Although he was nominated for a professorship at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1888, he died before the opening of the school.