Life and career
On the suggestion of his brother-in-law Kawada Hiromu, the governor of Sagami Province, who had travelled to France as part of a shogunal delegation, Tomonobu studied Western painting at the Foreign Studies Centre for two years beginning in 1863. He then spent three years beginning in 1865 at the school of Kawakami Tōgai, and while there studied with the English artist Charles Wirgman for two years. He helped the American art historian Ernest Fenollosa in his studies of Japanese art and introduced Fenollosa to the painter Kanō Hōgai.
- Conant 2006, p. 88.
- Yamada, Kumiko (March 1999). "Kanō Tomonobu: Meiji wo ikita saigo no oku-eshi (1): oitachi, shugyō, oku-eshi jidai, sakuhin" 狩野友信 ─ 明治を生きた最後の奥絵師(一) ─ 生い立ち・修行・奥絵師時代・作品. Lotus 日本フェノロサ学会機関誌 (in Japanese) (19): 1–28.
- Yamada, Kumiko (December 2000). "Kanō Tomonobu no Meiji: oku-eshi kara Nihonga kyōshi e" 狩野友信の明治─奥絵師から日本画教師へ. 近代画説 明治美術学会誌 (in Japanese) (9): 148–167.
- Yamada, Kumiko (March 2002). "Kanō Tomonobu: Meiji wo ikita saigo no oku-eshi (2): rainichi gaikokujin gakka to no kōyū" 狩野友信 ─ 明治を生きた最後の奥絵師(ニ) ─ 来日外国人画家との交遊. Lotus 日本フェノロサ学会機関誌 (in Japanese) (22): 1–30.