Totori Eiki （1873-1943）
A craftsman splits bamboo to weave a basket. This work requires total concentration; he focuses all his mental energy on controlling the blade. The entire composition revolves around the line of sight from the man’s eyes to his hands, and is reinforced by the light that illuminates his forehead and the tense muscles of his hands. This is a rare and excellent portrait painting by Totori Eiki, who was known as a landscape painter.
Oil on canvas; framed
79.0 × 58.0 cm
Totori Eiki was born in Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture. He studied Chinese classics under Nakae Chomin and Western painting under Asai Chu. He covered art for a daily newspaper in Tokyo and eventually became an instructor at the Kyoto College of Technology. Totori spent three years in Europe during the Taisho era (1912–1926). After returning to Japan, he became a professor at the Kyoto College of Technology.
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