Kano Motonobu (1477-1559) was one of the greatest Japanese painters, an eclectic of genius, who excelled in every style and every branch of his art.
The strength of Meicli, Sessh, Motonobu and Tanyu gave place to a more or less slavish imitation of the old Japanese painters and their Chinese exemplars, till the heirs to the splendid traditions of the great masters preserved little more than their conventions and shortcomings.
If the disciples of this school could shake off the Sesshu tradition of strong outlines and adopt the Kano Motonobu revelation of modelling by mass only, their work would stand on a high place.
The Kokka, a monthly magazine richly and beautifully illustrated and edited by Japanese students, has reached its 223rd number; the Shimbi Daikan, a colossal album containing chromoxylographic facsimiles of celebrated examples in every branch of art, has been completed in 20 volumes; the masterpieces of KOrin and Motonobu have been reproduced in similar albums; the masterpieces of the Ukiyo-e are in process of publication, and it seems certain that the Japanese nation will ultimately be educated to such a knowledge of its own art as will make for permanent appreciation.
The founder of the first great line of tsuba and menuki artists was Got YjO (1440-1512), a friend of the painter Kano Motonobu, whose designs he adopted.