One of the greatest of the Nihonga painters, Yokoyama Taikan was a native of Mito in Ibaragi Prefecture. He studied in Tokyo at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts from 1889 to 1893 and was particularly influenced by one of his teachers, Hashimoto Gaho (1835-1908). In 1895 he taught at the Kyoto Municipal School of Fine Arts, returning to his own alma mater as a professor from 1897 to 1898. The political climate at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts was volatile and Taikan, along with many others, resigned when Okakura Tenshin (1862-1913), its founder, was dismissed. As a result Taikan, Okakura, Shimomura Kanzan (1873-1930), and Hishida Shunso (1874-1911) co-founded the Japan Art Institute (Inten) in 1898 and Taikan remained a director of this organization until his death. The Institute endured many years without the benefit of government-sponsored exhibitions, although Taikan was later recognized for his invaluable contribution to Japanese-style painting. He was appointed a court artist in 1931, made a member of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in 1935, and was among the first to receive the Order of Cultural Merit in 1937. He served as a judge for Bunten, Teiten, and Inten exhibitions. In his early paintings Taikan abandoned the use of line in favor of subtle gradations of color. He eventually incorporated Chinese, Japanese, as well as Western stylistic elements in his works.
Another painting of the same subject by Taikan was Sold in these Rooms, lot 34, on December 18, 1992 in a sale of Japanese Modern and Contemporary Paintings.