Kanô Tan'yû was among the most prominent painters of the early Edo period.
After his great-uncle Kanô Naganobu relocated to Edo and was named official court painter to the Tokugawa shogunate in 1615, Tan'yû was named to the same position in 1617, and established himself in Edo beginning in 1621. He was provided samurai status by the shogunate, along with a 200 koku stipend and a mansion at Kajibashi, where he made his atelier.
He is known for a great many notable works, including fusuma paintings created as part of renovations of Nijô castle in 1623-1626, restoration work at the Kyoto Imperial Palace in 1642, decorations for a Kishû Tokugawa clan summer home in 1649, a series of wall paintings for the honmaru palace of Edo castle, completed in 1659, paintings on the interior of the gateways to Nikkô Tôshôgû, and works for Osaka and Nagoya castles. Fusuma paintings at Daitoku-ji by Tan'yû and his forebearer Kanô Eitoku have been designated National Treasures.
- Timon Screech, Obtaining Images, University of Hawaii Press (2012), 138.
- Christine Guth, Art of Edo Japan, Yale University Press (1996), 96-97.