Paulownia and Phoenix
Tsubata Michihiko (1869-1938) was a Japanese-style painter who was born in Niigata prefecture. He was a son of a literary painter. Initially, he studied literary painting under Fukushima Ryūho, and later, he did the Tosa school under Yamana Tsurayoshi and Katayama Kandō. He was awarded at the exhibition of the Nihon Bijutsu Kyōkai (Japan Art Association), the Nagoya Kyōshinkai Exhibition, and the Tokyo Kangyō Expo since 1897. He exhibited at the 2nd, 3rd, 5th 6th, and 7th Bunten Exhibitions, and received the 2nd prize at the 6th and the 3rd prize at the 7th Exhibitions.
This mural, “Paulownia and Phoenix” shows the strong coloring like lacquer artworks, which seems to elaborate some unique devices for the pigment. The depiction to add the streaks of whiting onto its rectrix looks quite new. As a whole, the decorative effect is raised by using the gold dust abundantly.
Although the same can goes for the Sugido-e (painting on cedar-board doors), “White Chrysanthemums”, this one raises the effect of the Rinpa style adding the flowing water on the right screen to “Suyari Kasumi” (horizontally long hanged-over haze, which was especially used in picture scrolls. Mostly drawn by gold leaf. It was used to express perspective and change scenes since the Kamakura period) as well.