Baikei Ri 梅渓李, calligrapher and Unkoku Tōyo 雲谷等與, painter. Seiko Hakkei 西湖八景. Early 17th c. An emaki scroll 5.6m including a gold paper border 26.5cm in original wooden box 33 x 7cm with hand-brushed Chinese text. Photocopy of biographical information on Ri Baikei 梅渓李 and Unkoku Tōyo 雲谷等與 in handwritten Japanese text laid in. Early 17th C.
Eight hand calligraphed classical poems with eight lovely black and white landscape paintings depicting the Eight Scenes of West Lake. Reverse of scroll has title of each poem and painting thoughtfully placed to be viewed alongside each as the scroll is unrolled. West Lake (西湖 Xī Hú in Chinese), located in Zhejiang province in eastern China near the city of Hangzhou, was well known, as it still is today, for its natural scenery.
Ri Baikei 梅渓李 (1617-1682) was Japanese born of Korean descent. A calligrapher and scholar of Chinese studies, he was awarded a small honorarium as a Han Confucian scholar in the Kii Domain, south of Nara, where he was born.
Unkoku Tōyo 雲谷等與 (1612-1668) was the artistic and actual grandson of master painter Unkoku Tōgan 雲谷等顔 (1547–1618) and the eldest son of painter Unkoku Tōeki 雲谷等益 (1591-1644) and is considered the last significant representative of the style.
The Unkoku school, founded by Tōgan, were considered the artistic heirs of the great Sesshū. The 1st three generations, Tōyo is the third, are considered true masters of great individual creativity. Though the Unkoku line extended long past Tōyo, he is considered the last worthy representative of the style.