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Mori SOSEN (1747-1821)

on Sep 22, 2020 in Available, New Acquisitions, Paintings




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A fine original painting, sumi and light colour on silk; 41.75 x 15 in; 106 x 38.1 cms. His life is not well documented but he is known to have studied under the Kano artist Yamamoto Joshunsai (? -1781) before being drawn into Maruyama Okyo’s (1733-1795) artistic circle and his style is more Shijo than anything else. His animal paintings were evidently highly valued by Okyo. He was an immediate favourite with eastern collectors because of his monkey paintings at which he excelled, although he was more versatile than literature implies and highly accomplished at drawing other animals. But his images of monkeys take precedence and he is considered the pre-eminent painter, east or west, on this subject. He is said to have lived in the woods for three years eating fruit and nuts to better study the monkeys and other animals at close quarters. (Even if this is apocryphal it underlines the appreciation of his commitment to understanding the monkey.) Shows two monkeys on a bough beneath a large red sun. In very good condition. Genuine Sosens (and there are many copies) show a great skill in the way their fur coats are built up with hundreds of fine strokes. The box that goes with the painting has an inscription on the lid: “A painting of monkeys by Mori Sosen” and on the underside of the lid is a guarantee by Ayaoka Yushin (a Shijo painter and pupil of Shibata Zeshin, [1846-1910]) signed Ayaoka with seal Yutoku and dated June 1891. The painting signed “Painted by Mori Sosen early spring [=January] 1800” with seals Mori Shusho and Sosen.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Toba HIROMARU (Active 1804-1818)

on Sep 22, 2020 in Available, New Acquisitions, Paintings

Click here to view image full size. An original painting showing a parading courtesan. Sumi and colour on paper, 45.5 x 11.25 in; 115.5 x 28.5 cms. A rare artist of the Utagawa school. Probably a pupil of Utagawa Toyohiro. His extant paintings show a considerable talent with particularly attenuated faces. Another example is in […]

 
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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)

on Sep 22, 2020 in Available, Landscapes, New Acquisitions

Click here to view image full size. Tosa, kaijo katsuo tsuri, “Tosa [Province], Bonito Fishing at Sea.” From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshu meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by Koshihei between 1853 and 1856, this being 1855. Tosa, located on the southern coast of the island […]

 
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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)

on Sep 22, 2020 in Available, Landscapes, New Acquisitions

Click here to view image full size. A snow scene showing Nichiren struggling up a snow-covered mountain near Tsukahara on the Island of Sado. The best design from Koso goichidai ryakuza, the “Illustrated Abridged Biography of the Founder.” Nichiren being the founder of the Buddhist Nichiren sect (Nichiren shu – Kuniyoshi being a follower) and […]

 
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Utagawa TOYOKUNI II (1777-1835)

on Sep 22, 2020 in Available, Beauties, New Acquisitions

Click here to view image full size. An aizuri (blue) print from a set Tosei bijin hana-awase, “Beauties of the Latest Fashion Compared to the Beauty of Flowers.” In this case kikyo flowers – the Chinese bellflower. Aizuri prints were the outcome of avoiding intermittent edicts promulgated by the bakufu prohibiting the number of blocks […]

 
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Utagawa TOYOHIRO (1773-1828)

on Sep 22, 2020 in Available, Beauties, New Acquisitions

Click here to view image full size. An oban print with title: Ryukyujin no zu, “Pictures of People from Ryukyu.” (A chain of Japanese islands stretching southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan.) The Ryukyuans had a specific culture, one element of which was to select young boys (gakudoji) from the upper classes of the capital to […]

 
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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)

on Sep 22, 2020 in Actors, Available, New Acquisitions

Click here to view image full size. The actor Sawamura Tossho II in the Okazaki no ba, “Okazaki Scene” from Okazaki no neko, “The Cat of Okazaki.” This episode from the famous play takes place in an old temple at Okazaki on the Tokaido. An old cat witch haunts the temple attacking young women. Published […]

 
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Utagawa KUNIMARO (Active 1850-1875)

Click here to view image full size. An oban showing Jiraiya (Ogata Shuma Hiroyuki), a ninja who was able to transmogrify himself into a giant toad. His arch enemy was Orochimaru, a master of serpent magic, who is seen here as a giant snake. Jiraiya kills the snake with his heavy o-zutsu, hand cannon. Based […]

 
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Utagawa YOSHITORA (Active c. 1840-1880)

Click here to view image full size. An oban with title: Furyu saya-e: oiran, “Elegant Sheath-Pictures: Oiran.”A catoptric (mirror as opposed to an oblique) anamorphic print showing a parading courtesan. These prints were meant to be viewed in conical or cylindrical mirrors placed at the bottom of the image. The flat distorted image was then […]

 
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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)

Click here to view image full size. The best design from the set Tsuki hyakushi, the “Hundred Phases of the Moon.” The set published between 1885 and 1892 (this being 1886) by Akiyama Buemon. Benkei against a full moon. In 1185 Yoshitsune, attacked by his half-brother Minamoto no Yoritomo, was forced to flee to northern […]

 
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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)

Click here to view image full size. A diptych showing the Buddhist priest Dainin about to kill the girl Umegae. Daininbo Umegae o satsugai no zu, “Picture of the Priest Dainin Killing the Girl Umegae.” From a set of prints Shinsen azuma nishiki-e, “New Selection of Eastern Brocade Pictures.” The priest momentarily looks up at […]

 
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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)

Click here to view image full size. A diptych showing Musashi-bo Benkei, renowned for his herculean strength, battling with the young Onzoshi Ushiwaka Maru (Yoshitsune) on Gojo Bridge. The story relates how Benkei (1155-1189) wandered around Kyoto with the intention of relieving 1000 samurai of their swords. One night with one more sword to go […]

 
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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)

on Sep 22, 2020 in Available, Landscapes, New Acquisitions

Click here to view image full size. A triptych Ryogoku hanabi zu, “Fireworks at Ryogoku.” Chikanobu designed a number of triptychs on this subject and boating on the Sumida River, but this is the best and rarest. The government in 1733 had a display of fireworks over the bridge called the Ryogoku kawabiraki hanabi, “Ryogoku […]

 
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Utagawa KUNISADA (1797-1861)

on Aug 2, 2020 in Available, Paintings

Click here to view image full size. A fine and interesting original painting, full colour on silk, 11.25 x 20.25 in; 28.5 x 51.5 cms. Shows a reclining beauty looking up at a cuckoo (hototogisu) flying in clouds. The cuckoo is the harbinger of the summer months. This painting, made c 1830, reflects Kunisada’s study, […]

 
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Hishikawa MOROSHIGE (Fl. 1684-1704)

on Aug 2, 2020 in Available, Paintings

Click here to view image full size. An original painting, sumi and full colour on paper, 24 x 12 in; 61 x 30.5 cms. Shows a beautiful youth (a wakashu) dressed as a girl with his attendant servant. These youths (identified as male by wearing a sword) were arbiters of trend-setting kimono design. They are […]

 
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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)

on Aug 1, 2020 in Available, Warriors and Legends

Click here to view image full size. Kaneko Kugutsune (aka Okane, Kane-jo, and Omi no Okane) from the set Chuko meiyo kijin den, “Stories of Remarkable Persons of Loyalty and High Reputation.” Published by Iseya Ichiemon or Enshuya Matabei (this design) 1845. Robinson S35.5. Known as the Strong Woman of Omi, she is credited with […]

 
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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)

on Aug 1, 2020 in Available, Warriors and Legends

Click here to view image full size. Yamamoto Kansuke striding through the snow. “Boar” from a set Mitate junishi, “Selection for the Twelve Signs.” Published by Ibaya Kyubei, c 1845. (Kansuke was famous for killing a giant boar in the snow.) Robinson S38.12.     Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.   […]

 
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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)

on Aug 1, 2020 in Available, Warriors and Legends

Click here to view image full size. “Flood” from a series Seiu kandankei, “A Barometer of Emotions.” Shows Nakamura Shikan III as Abe Bungo no Kami riding his horse through waves. Published by Okura Magobei 1876-77 (this being 1876). A rare set with some striking designs comparing actors in theatrical roles with meteorological phenomena.   […]

 
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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)

on Aug 1, 2020 in Available, Warriors and Legends

Click here to view image full size. The fifteen year old Otani Furuinosuke killing a giant boar with his bare hands. From a set Honcho Suikoden goyu happyakunin no hitori, “One of the Eight Hundred Heroes of the Water Margin of Japan.” Published by Kagaya Kichiemon c 1831. This is the first edition: It was […]

 
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Utagawa YOSHIYUKI (Active 1848-1864)

on Aug 1, 2020 in Available, Warriors and Legends

Click here to view image full size. A triptych showing one of the great combats of the Gempei wars during the battle of Ichi-no-Tani to the west of Kobe in 1184. In the centre the Taira leader Satsuma no Kami Tadanori holds down the Minamoto Okabe Rokuyata Tadazumi. On the left Gennai Saemon Hidekata and […]

 
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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)

on Aug 1, 2020 in Available, Warriors and Legends

Click here to view image full size. A complete diptych showing Miyamoto Musashi dressed for travelling looking across at Sasaki Kojiro who stands in profile with clenched fist. These two great swordsmen agreed to fight on April 13, 1612, on Ganryu Island off the coast of Bizen Province. The outcome was that Musashi killed Kojiro. […]

 
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Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831-1889)

Click here to view image full size. The enlightenment of Fudo Myoo – a Buddhist deity who is always depicted seated on a rock engulfed by flames. From a set Kyosai rakuga, “Kyosai’s Drawings for Pleasure.” A satirical take on current events and mores. This satirical image shows him reading a modern newspaper, his attendant […]

 
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Sugimura JIHEI (Acitive c. 1681-1703)

on Jul 30, 2020 in Available, Shunga

Click here to view image full size. A shunga print showing a samurai (his swords lying outside the screen) having sexual intercourse with a courtesan from a set of twelve such prints published mid 1680s. Jihei was the most impressive of Moronobu’s followers and seems to have specialised in shunga, often surpassing Moronobu. (Indeed, Jihei’s […]

 
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Utagawa KUNITORA (Active early 19th c.)

on Jul 29, 2020 in Available, Landscapes

Click here to view image full size. An aiban yoko-e print from an extremely rare and fine set of prints published 1810s by Yamasho. Kunitora’s finest set. Hira bosetsu, “Evening Snow at Mount Hira” from a set Omi hakkei, “Eight Views of Omi.” The set employs strong Western elements with hatching and sinuous hills and […]

 
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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)

on Jul 29, 2020 in Available, Landscapes

Click here to view image full size. The great shrine at Izumo, Izumo, taisha hotohoto no zu from Rokujuyoshu meisho zue, “Famous Views in the Sixty-odd Provinces.” The set published by Koshimuraya Heisuke, 1853-6 (this being 1854). Shows a group of three young women bringing offerings to the Shinto shrine. A large cryptomeria tree in […]

 
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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)

on Jul 29, 2020 in Available, Landscapes

Click here to view image full size. Travellers viewing Mount Asama. Usui-toge yori Asama o miru zu, “A View of Mount Asama from Usui Pass.” From Kuniyoshi’s best landscape set. Of the utmost rarity with most extant impressions differing. This and the impression in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, are similar, without the smoke […]

 
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Utgawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)

on Jul 28, 2020 in Available, Flora and Fauna

Click here to view image full size. Kurodai, black sea bream (Acantho pagus schlegeli) and akadai, red bream (Pagus tumifrons) together with bamboo shoots and Japanese pepper. Poems by Tomigaki Uchiyasu and Kaoan Hoshi. From the first series of ten plus one prints published by Eijudo, c. 1832-34. The set was issued privately for a […]

 
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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)

on Jul 28, 2020 in Available, Flora and Fauna

Click here to view image full size. Shimadai, grouper (probably Chilodactylus zonatus) and ainame, greenling (Hexagrammus otakii) together with red-berried nanten. Poem by Kanshunro Nushibito. Probably the first edition (Kruml 18a). From the second series of fish published by Yamasho c. 1840-42.     Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.     Status: […]

 
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Teisai HOKUBA (1771-1844)

Click here to view image full size. One of Hokusai’s best pupils. Known for his paintings of beauties but also designed some fine surimono. An original fan painting showing a reclining beauty. Sumi and light red on silvered paper, 7.25 x 17.75 in; 18.5 x 45.2 cms. Removed from a fan, so rib folds and […]

 
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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)

Click here to view image full size. A fine original sumi drawing (hanshita-e) for an unpublished print for the set Tokaido gojusan tsui, “Fifty-three Parallels for the Tokaido Road.” The set was published by various publishers in 1845-6 and was a collaboration with Kunisada and Hiroshige. Sumi on thin paper. This is a design for […]

 
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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)

Click here to view image full size. Click here to view image full size. An original drawing by the first Toyokuni. An hanshita-e diptych for a published set of triptychs with title: Yakusha juni tsuki, “Actors in the Twelve Months.” Shows the actors (from the left) Bando Mitsugoro III holding a pipe; Iwai Hanshiro V […]

 
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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)

on Jul 25, 2020 in Available, Books

Click here to view image full size. A complete set of Kyoka Edo meisho zue, “Collection of Pictures of the Famous Places of Edo in Kyoka.” Fourteen volumes (sixteen books) dated Ansei 3, 1856. Artist: Ryusai Hiroshige ga, with volumes fifteen and sixteen being by Hiroshige II. Compiler of poems: Tenmei Rojin. Publisher not given. […]

 
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Kawamura BUMPO (1779-1821) and Watanabe NANGAKU (1763-1813)

on Jul 25, 2020 in Available, Books

Click here to view image full size. One volume complete Kaido kyoka awase, “Comparison of Kyoka Poems on the Highway.” Three pages preface signed Bumpo and thirty-six double-page illustrations alternating by Nangaku and Bumpo; last page colophon dated Bunka 8 (1811) with artists Nangaku Tseki and Bumpo Basei. Publishers Kawachiya Kihei, Osaka, and Yoshidaya Shimbei, […]

 
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Utgawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)

on Jul 22, 2020 in Available, Beauties

Click here to view image full size. A beauty from a set: Edo meisho gosho, “Five Elements of Famous Places in Edo.” This design representing Water of Kameido, Kameido no mizu, and Metal of Ueno, Uenoji no kane. A rare set published by Kikakudo, c. 1847-52.     Very fine impression, colour and condition. Signed […]

 
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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)

on Jul 12, 2020 in Available, Landscapes

Click here to view image full size. Oi, a suburb of present day Ena City, is in the southern foothills of the central mountain range now known as the Japan Alps. Shows a group of travellers heavily protected against the snow and cold. From Kisokaido rokujukyutsugi no uchi, “Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kisokaido.” The set […]

 
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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)

on Jul 12, 2020 in Available, Landscapes

Click here to view image full size. A view of pilgrims bathing in the Roben waterfall at the Afuri (Shinto) shrine, Oyama in Segami Province. Oyama sekison otaki no zu. This happened during the summer months and was considered a purification ritual. Oyama is a sacred mountain near the Izu peninsula and a short distance […]

 
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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)

on Jul 12, 2020 in Available, Warriors and Legends

Click here to view image full size. A triptych showing the great wrestling match between Matano Goro Kagehisa and Kawazu Saburo Sukeyasu. The match was refereed by Ebina Gempachi and occurred during a hunting expedition organised by the general Minamoto no Yoritomo in 1176 near Mt. Akazawa. Kawazu was the eventual victor after a rematch, […]

 
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Utagawa YOSHIKAZU (Active 1850-1870)

on Jul 12, 2020 in Available, Warriors and Legends

Click here to view image full size. A triptych showing Miinamoto no Yorimitsu (aka Raiko) and his retainers confronting the giant Earth Spider (Tsuchigumo – a form of spider-like yokai). After a fierce battle Yorimitsu cuts off the head of the spider and 1990 dead victims emerge from its stomach. A popular subject and there […]

 
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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)

on Jul 12, 2020 in Available, Warriors and Legends

Click here to view image full size. A triptych showing Shutendoji’s palace on Mount Oyeyama, Oyeyama fukujin shusei. Raiko (Minamoto no Yorimitsu) is charged by the Emperor Murakami with killing the evil Shutendoji who terrorizes the neighbourhood. He and his retainers infiltrate the castle and ply Shutendoji and his ogrish band with sake and dance […]

 
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Utagawa YOSHITORA (Active c 1850-1880)

on Jul 12, 2020 in Available, Warriors and Legends

Click here to view image full size. A triptych showing Sato Masakiyo, having invaded Shikoku and overthrowing the castle of Shosokabe Motochika, entering deep into the mountains where he battles an army of huge toads, lizards, bats, spiders, cats and dogs. Sato Masakiyo Shikoku seibatsu no toki Shosokabe Motochika no honjo o semeotosu ori kara […]