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Journal for Geometry and Graphics 21 (2017), No. 2, 241--252
Copyright Heldermann Verlag 2017

Concerning the Composition of Kasuga Gongen Genki

Noriko Sato
Joshibi University of Art and Design, 1900 Asamizodai, Minami-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-8538, Japan

This study is to analyze the painted architecture of Kasuga Gongen Genki. A lot of picture scrolls were produced in the Kamakura era, and this is one of the most famous. The subject matter of these picture scrolls is the miraculous stories of the Kasuga Deity, and it is illustrated with the founding stories originating from local shrines and temples. One of the unique qualities of the pictorial buildings on these picture scrolls is that their expressive styles of architecture were created in the 8th century. Most of the pictorial buildings drawn on these picture scrolls are some particular buildings in the precinct of the Kasuga Shrine. The image of a building drawn on Kasuga Gongen Genki is said to be faithful to the structure of the real building. In order to get the features of the drawn buildings, we focused on the lines showing their depth and the composition of the drawings. In the following pictures, group scenes were painted with a similar composition and common ground was found. In conclusion, this study suggests that the traditional drawing technique called 'Suki-utushi' (transcribing a picture underneath), a style of Japanese painting, has created the model for the stereotyped image of the building.

Keywords: Geometry in arts, composition, picture scroll.

MSC: 00A66; 51N05

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