Sansui Ga

Landscape Sansui Ga-click here to go to the Sansui Ga scroll pages

Landscape-Sansui ga

These scrolls show the Japanese artists immense skill with painting of landscapes and the feeling to a room will depend on the background subject .

Sansui (Sansuiga) Landscape painting:
Sansuiga (landscape painting) is a genre of the picture which developed in China. san means yama (mountains), sui means mizu(river), ga means a picture. The style of landscape painting tried to create a reproduction of real scenery, but there is much "created scenery" "image scenery" which constituted scenery elements such as the mountains / trees / rocks / rivers  to enhance the realism of the scene.
Although Japanese scenery paintings were influenced by  Chinese art there was not a word for "Fukeiga (the Chinese word for Fukei or scenery)". The development of the landscape picture assumed a natural view of the scene and was called "a landscape painting".  However, while taking in such techniques, a lot of Japanese painters of landscape base their images on a sense of beauty , Wabi Sabi-a harmonious setting and design, rather than  the conventional Chinese landscape image.

Sansui(=Sansuiga) (Landscape painting) :
Sansuiga (landscape painting) is a genre of the picture which developed in China through the early Sung Dynasty and when that arrived in the 19th Century started to be more representative of traditional scenic views. Often hung in homes at certain times of the year, the Landscape painting of China usually had descriptions or poems about the view.

The word san means yama (mountains), sui means mizu (river), gameans a picture. There is the work which aimed at reproduction of real scenery, but there is also  "created scenery" "image scenery" which constituted scenery elements such as the mountains / trees / rocks / rivers by realism again. Artistic licence. Taking an existing scene and enhancing it in a way that would attract the buyer to place this on the wall of their home. but more than this it was a representation of a spiritual place. Mountains where spirits reigned, hidden valleys full of myths and legends.

The art of Japan has a powerful  Chinese influence. There was originally no word for  simply "Fukeiga (Fukei=scenery-ga=Picture)". The picture which assumed a representation of natural scenery was simply called "a landscape painting". Originally "Sansuiga
(landscape painting)" began as spiritual world expression to be based on a legendary Chinese hermit with miraculous powers of thought.. On the other hand, the Meiji era began, and the words of "scenery" became established with the full-scale introduction of Western paintings. In "Fukeiga (Scenery)",the  eyes of the naturalism or realism assumed a form that was different from a conventional "Sansuiga (landscape painting)" the basis of the landscape scenery style of painting were incorporated, and natural reproduction by a rational technique was aimed at the subject matter of the art work.. However, while taking in such techniques, some of the traditional Japanese landscape painting became based on a sense of beauty of the subject matter rather than the actual image itself. So floating clouds and misty forests, cool waterfalls and scented glades became the holy grail of the Japanese Landscape painter of scrolls.. The scroll therefore does not have to be as detailed as a western landscape but rather an impression, a feeling of what the viewer is looking at. A successful landscape scroll delivers this. The waterfall should make you feel cool ad the forest should suggest the smell of damp leaves and birdsong and the mountain should make you feel that you become part of the birds flying below the cold peaks.

Viewing a Japanese landscape scroll relies on the viewer relaxing and becoming one with the scene. For more information on Japanese and Asian art read this-click


These magnificent antique hand painted works of art show the Japanese style of painting at its very best. Some of these scrolls are very old and I have spent many years researching and locating the very best in genuine Antique Scrolls. In a few cases I have had scroll mounts restored  on the scrolls where these have deteriorated, However the restoration has been done by professional Scroll restorers and the original paintings have not been altered in any way.

Landscape by Bario