This painting fashions its own world, in which an anchor looms like the Eiffel Tower above tiny crustacean subjects. Perhaps Ippo observed this scene in nature, but he could not have created this painting without also contemplating on the perspective of the crabs themselves. With an ease that belies his mastery, Ippo swiftly summoned the anchor’s massive prongs and the crab’s diminutive claws, ceasing at the exact minimum of visual information to communicate feeling. Standing in front of the scroll, we immediately feel as if stepping into the painting, being reduced to a crab’s size, and joining them to look up at the anchor.
Maybe this scroll should be called "Perspective of Crabs."
About this Artist:
Ippo was the adopted son and pupil of Mori Tetsuzan (1798-1871), who brought the principles of the Kyoto-based Shijo style to the Mori family of Osaka. He studied under Tetsuzan, who possessed an innovative brushwork and became a technical master himself.