Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An early warrior print showing Rokuson Okeigi (Minamoto no Tsunemoto [894-961]) battling a giant dragon. From a set Honcho komei kagami, “A Mirror of Our Country’s Renown Heroes” published by Joshuya Kinzo, c. 1835.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kocho Kunisada ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A print from the set Mitate junishi, “Selection for the Twelve Signs [of the Zodiac].” This being Dog. Shows the wrestler Inuda (Inu, “Dog”) Kobungo umpiring a match between two crabs. Published c. 1845 by Iba-ya Sensaburo. Robinson S38.11.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Very slight trimming, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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BUNSEI (Active c. 1830 -1844)




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A complete set of Eight Views of Xiaoxiang, modern Hunan Province, China. These eight views were taken up by Japanese artists such as Hiroshige and transposed to Japan becoming sets like the Eight Views of Omi, etc. Bunsei was a pupil of Tani Buncho. He seems to have made a speciality of this subject and there is a slightly larger version set of the same subject. Published c. 1830s. Provenance: Ex Hayashi with his seal on most of the designs. Rare complete.

 

 

Very good impressions and colour. Minor edge wormage, othwerwise very good condition. Each signed Bunsei.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa KUNITERU (Fl. mid-19th c.)




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An original hanshita-e (preparatory drawing) for a triptych showing the ground floor interior of a brothel in the Yoshiwara with courtesans and their assistants. These first drafts by the artist themselves survive because a more detailed drawing was needed by the blockcutter, and this was normally given to an assistant to execute. Or the drawing was never taken up by the publisher, for whatever reason. He was a pupil of Kunisada, originally calling himself Sadashige, and becoming Kuniteru when Kunisada became Toyokuni III. Sumi and touches of red. Extensive pentimenti. Sold “as is” with all imperfections. Signed on two sheets Kuniteru ga.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An original hanshita-e (preparatory drawing) for a published diptych showing, on the left, the actor Onoe Kikujiro II as Tatsuhime – in reality Yawata, the younger sister of Kotoda. On the right is Iwai Kumesaburo III as Kudo Kanaishimaru. The play is Matsu icho Tsurukame Soga performed at the Nakamura-ya theatre, 1/1854. The publisher of the print was Sanoki. These first drafts by the artist themselves survive because a more detailed drawing was needed by the blockcutter, and this was normally given to an assistant to execute. Or the drawing was never taken up by the publisher, for whatever reason. Sumi and touches of red. Signed Toyokuni ga on both sheets. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An original hanshita-e (preparatory drawing) for a triptych showing, from the left, the actor Bando Takesaburo I as Nagoya Sanza, Ichimura Uzaemon XIII as the Shinzo (“courtesan’s apprentice”), and Nakamura Fukusuke I as Fuwa Banzaemon. This is actually from the dance Sanpukutsui Kabuki no irodori performed at the Ichimura-za theatre, 5/1855. The publisher was Sanoki. These first drafts by the artist themselves survive because a more detailed drawing was needed by the blockcutter, and this was normally given to an assistant to execute. Or the drawing was never taken up by the publisher, for whatever reason. Sumi and touches of red with some pentimenti. Signed Toyokuni ga on the three sheets. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

 

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Kikukawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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A triptych showing a street thronged with people in front of the famous department store Iwaki Masuya, giving a good cross-section of the inhabitants of the city at this time. The store specialised in silk and textiles and was one of the most important in Edo having, at one point, 500 employees in its stores. Hiroshige designed another triptych of this subject in c. 1850.

 

 

Published by Mikawaya Seiemon, c. 1815. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression. Extremely fine fresh colour. Fine condition. Full size. Signed Kikukawa Eizan fude.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Kawabata GYOKUSHO (1842-1913)




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An original painted fan. On one side a bird amongst flowers and the reverse also with flowers. A leading figure in Tokyo art circles and the last great representative of the Shijo school. In exceptional condition with extensive gold leaf. Signed Gyokusho with seals Shibun on both sides.

 

 

Full colour on silk, each panel 39.75 x 25 in; 101 x 63.5 cms. Extremely good condition. Signed Kinzaburo Yoshitoshi ga with blurred seal but reading Go Kaisai. Extremely rare.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Seki and Kameyama from the chuban Muraichi Tokaido. The set of 56 prints published by Muraichi, 1852. Printed two-to-a-sheet uncut and probably from a complete proof set. Double censor’s seals Murata and Kinugasa and date seal 2ic/1852 top right.

 

Fine impressions with strong woodgrain showing. Fine colour. Very small binding holes in right border, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga on each print.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI II ( TOYOSHIGE ) (1777-1835)




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A courtesan with a toothpick and playing with a cat compared to the actor Iwai Hanshiro V ( inset in a sake cup top right ). From a series Imayo bijin awase, shinsei sugatami sakazuki, “A Comparison of Modern Beauties – A New Mirror of Sake Cups.” Published by Imariya Ushizo, c 1820-24.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Extensive mica added to the coat of the courtesan. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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Shows a seated lady holding a fan compared to the actor Segawa Senjo ( previously known as Segawa Kikunojo III, inset in fan upper left ). From a series Ukiyo butai-ko Senjo-fu, “Fragrance from the Floating World’s Stage, in the Style of Senjo.” Published by Tsumuraya Saburobei, c 1810.

 

Fine impression. Light yellow ground. Very good colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga with an unidentified collector’s seal.

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1797-1861)




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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, together with Ikkei, of the work of Hanabusa Itcho (1652-1724). Indeed, Ikkei gave Kunisada the name Hanabusa Ittai and this painting is signed Hanabusa Itcho Kunisada ga with seal Hanabusa Ittai Kunisada no in. To the bottom left is an inscription reading “A disciple of Utagawa Kunisada drawn on request [the cuckoo].” There is a small seal but it is undecipherable.

 

Minor marks but in generally very good condition. Touches of gold and the gofun on the face well retained. Newly mounted with new box.

 

Status: Available

 




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Utagawa KUNIMARU (1794-1829)



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An uncut fan print showing a beauty looking into a lacquered hand mirror which she has withdrawn from a lacquered cabinet. Kunimaru produced some exceptional fans, of which this is one. However, his work in other fields is not noteworthy and it does pose the question if there were two artists with the same name ? Published 1827. Of particular interest is the design on the under-garment she is holding which has a Dutch motif of cherubs. Rare.

 

 

Very fine impression with strong burnishing on the mirror case, cabinet and her hair. Fine colour. Small repaired binding holes, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kunimaru hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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The warrior Ritchitaisai Genshoji in a boat attacked by grappling-hooks thrown by his adversaries. A design from the set Tsuzoku Suikoden goketsu hyaku-hachi-nin no hitori, “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One.” Based on the Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan, attributed to Shi’Nai’an, which tells of a band of 108 brigands who operated from Liangshan Marsh. Published by Kagaya Kichiyemon, 1827-30. Robinson S2.53.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size (unusual as these prints are overlarge obans and often trimmed). Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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Yamaguchi SOKEN (1759-1818)




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A fine pair of paintings: One showing women of Ohara; a mountain village north of Kyoto. These Oharame collected brushwood and firewood in the fall to sell in Kyoto. They are often depicted and obviously caused a stir when they entered Kyoto to ply their trade. Evidently the custom has been going on since the 12th century. The other painting shows spring tea-leaf picking at Uji. An area located at the southern edge of Kyoto prefecture. Shincha, the new tea of the year, was prized and collected at the beginning of May. Soken was one of Okyo’s ten best pupils, lived in Kyoto, and is known for his fine illustrated books, such as: Yamato jimbutsu gafu, 1800; Yamato jimbutsu gafu kohen, 1804; Soken sansui gafu 1818 and others. Sumi and full colour on paper, each 39 x 13.5 in; 99 x 34.3 cms. Fine, fresh condition and newly mounted. Each signed Mizunoto i Soken, Soken painted in the Boar Year, 1803 with seal Soken.

 

Status: Available

 




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Cho GESSHO (1772-1832)




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A large original painting of moored junks caught in a violent squall. A fine painter who studied under Tanke Gessen and Matsumura Goshun in Kyoto before moving to Nagoya in 1798 and becoming Nagasawa Rosetsu’s assistant for a short time. Also illustrated some fine ehon. Sumi and colour on silk with the currents of air painted in gold; 55.25 x 26 in; 140.25 x 66 cms. Painted c. 1810s. Provenance: Two previous owners’ seals on the exterior of mount: The Honda family library and the Ueno family. Old box with inscription which states that Gessho wanted to acquire a painting from the Owari district. Although not intrinsically valuable it was esteemed by the local people. He offered to exchange the painting offered here for their painting. There is a dig here in that the inhabitants of Owari were known to be avaricious. Written by Mizutani Okurei (1848-1926). Presumably based on the accounts of the two previous family owners.

 

Signed Gessho with seal: Yukisada, Genkei, Gessho. Obviously an important painting by Gessho and in very good condition.

 

Status: Available

 




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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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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 with an open book; Nakamura Utaemon III about to write a poem; and Segawa Roko IV with another pipe. They are compared to the months of the year, in this case July, the month of the Bon Odori festival and are also a parody of the Six Immortal Poets. The print published by Yamashiroya Toemon (active c. 1801-1817). In fact this set was published Spring, Bunka 6 (1809). Sumi on thin paper laid around edges onto another sheet. Some pentimenti and also shows the initial hurried under-drawing and with annotations for the finished print. Sold together with the two published sheets which shows the lanterns removed at top, the brazier bottom centre and other minor changes. In indifferent condition. An illustrated example of this complete triptych is in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts.

 

The print signed Toyokuni ga. Original hanshita-e by Toyokuni I are extremely rare. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.


 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Gempei Yashima o-kassen, the great battle of Yashima in 1184. Shows Yoshitsune’s famous “eight-boat leap” (centre), Noritsune (left), and Benkei on the large boat (right). Published by Kawaguchiya Uhei, c. 1839-41.

 

Very good impression and colour. Edge repair top left sheet, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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Toensai KANSHI (Fl. mid-18th century)




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A rare, highly talented and enigmatic painter who produced only a few masterpieces. There is some confusion over his active working life with differing dates from 1748 to 1780, but he was certainly painting in the 1760s. This unusual composition shows a beauty adjusting her hair by obliquely looking in a mirror held by her maid who stares unnervingly straight at the viewer. This painting is well known and is illustrated in Nikuhitsu Ukiyoe, Collection of Ukiyo-e Paintings Classified by Artist and Schools, Vol. 4 (of 10): Katsukawa school, Suzuki Harunobu and Isoda Koryusai, pl. 83, edited and published by Shueisha, 1982. It is also mentioned on page 113 in Ukiyo-e Large Encyclopaedia, Vol. 2, edited by Japan Ukiyo-e Society, published by Taishukan, 1982. Another Kanshi painting showing a beauty collecting bamboo shoots in the snow was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, in 2014, in an exhibition: The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection.

 

Full colour on paper with mica on the mirror, image size 14.5 x 20 in; 37 x 51 cms. In extremely good condition with double box. Painted c 1765.


 

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UNSEN




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The dates for Unsen are not known but he was working in the early Meiji period. This original hanshita-e shows Imperial troops defeating the rebellion during the Shimabara riot. (The events took place in 1637/8 although contemporary uniforms and artillery are shown. Comments on topical subjects were often “masked” by being set in a different period.)) A well drawn triptych in good condition using pentimenti. Signed Unsen hitsu.


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Ohara HOSON (Aka SHOSON, KOSON) (1877-1945)



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A rooster and weasel. Published by Kawaguchi, c. 1930. The first and only edition. Ex Robert O. Muller collection. Rare.

 

Very fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hoson. Copyright seal in lower right margin; seal of printer, Komatsu, and carver, Maeda, in lower left margin.

 

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Kitagawa TSUKIMARO (Active c 1804-1836)




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An original painting, full colour on dark silk, 33.5 x 11.5 in; 85 x 29 cms. Shows a Chinese beauty – possibly Yang Guikei – collecting medicinal leaves from a Japanese spice bush. An intriguing painting with Ukiyo-e elements fused with both Chinese and Western styles. Tsukimaro was Utamaro’s best pupil and his paintings are rare. Painted c 1818.

 

Some loss of gofun but generally good condition. Newly mounted with new box. Signed Bokutei Tsukimaro hitsu with two unidentified seals.

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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A dai-oban print showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Minister Kibi in the play Kibi Daijin Shina monogatari, “Minister Kibi, Tale of China.” The play centres on the historical minister Kibi no Makibi who joined a mission to the Tang Court in China in 716. He is supposed to have brought back to Japan the game of go, embroidery, and the secrets of the Chinese almanac. Published by Gusokuya Kahai, 1875.

 

Fine impression with gauffrage and extensive burnishing to Kibi’s black garment. Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition, untrimmed. Signed Oju Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

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Yamamoto SHOUN (1870-1965)




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A large original painting , full colour with gold on silk, image size 50.5 x 19.75 in; 128.25 x 50 cms. Shows Shoki, the Demon Quellor, with sword drawn watching an oni escaping on a cloud, upper left. Various Chinese legends exist regarding the origins of Shoki but the gist of them all is that Emperor Xuanzong canonized Shoki, a physician, and in gratitude Shoki vowed to protect the ruler and his heirs from demons and illness. Shoun is best known for his series of woodblocks of beautiful women, Ima Sugata, published 1906-9.

 

In fine condition. Signed Shoun hitsu with two seals, one reading Shoun.

 

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Attributed to Toyoharu KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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An oban diptych shini-e (memorial portrait) of the famous kabuki actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII (1791-1859). Upper right is the date of his burial, Ansei 6 (1859), 3rd month, 24th day. A long inscription at left on his life. The image top right shows his great-great-great grandfather, the first Ichikawa Danjuro (1660-1704). The other image, top left, shows Danjuro VIII (1823-1854), his son, who predeceased him by 4 years. See Waseda University Theatre Museum, acc. Nos. 114-0330 and 114-0332 (attributed to Kunichika).

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition.

 

Status: Available

 

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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)



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Kusunoki Masatsura killing the magical tanuki from a set of 50 prints Azuma nishiki chuya kurabe, “Edo Embroidery Pictures.” The set published by Kobayashi Tetsujiro, 1886.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Yoshu Chikanobu hitsu.

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A fine original fan painting showing a woman of Ohara; a mountain village north of Kyoto. These Oharame collected brushwood and firewood in the fall to sell in Kyoto. They are often depicted and obviously caused a stir when they entered Kyoto to ply their trade. The custom has evidently been going on since the 12th century. She is shown holding a flower and sitting on her bundle of firewood.

 

 

 

Full colour on prepared paper mounted as a fan, 6.5 x 17in; 16.5 x 43.2 cms (paper area). In very good condition. Signed Kunisada ga with indistinct seals, probably Kuni Sada. A charming painting.

 

 

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Yashima GAKUTEI (1786-1868)




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An original painting, sumi and light blue on silk, 13 x 22 in; 33 x 55.9 cms. Shows a carp swimming amongst weeds. Gakutei is best known for his fine surimono (and in fact designed a surimono of this subject). Painted in Bunsei era (1818-1830). In fine condition apart from a minimal crease. Recently remounted.

 

Signed Gogaku with seals Yashima and Sadaoka. A beautiful painting.

 

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Onishi CHINNEN (1792-1851)




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One volume complete Azuma no teburi, “Customs of the Eastern Capital”. Published Bunsei 12 (1829). Original covers, light blue-grey with silver stencilled decoration. Original title slip (damaged). Inside front cover title Taihei Uzo (the original title). Artist: Chinnen, and publisher Sonando. 25 double page illustrations showing the inhabitants of the capital going about their daily pursuits. Inside back cover: Colophon, dated Bunsei 12 (1829) and publishers Kobayashi Shimbei and Osakaya Gembei. Slight repared wormage and minor marks, but generally a nice copy of a fine shijo book.

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Fujikawa from the so-called “Upright Tokaido.” One of the two snow scenes from the set. Shows travelers coming and going at the edge of the village. Published by Tsutaya, Hare 7, 1855.

 

Very good impression with wood-grain evident in the sky. Very good colour. Trimmed close, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Tamiya Boutaro from a set Kokoku nijushiko, “The Twenty-four Accomplishments in Imperial Japan.” Shows the spirit of the tengu helping Tamiya Boutaro Munechika avenge his father’s death. The set published by Tsuda Genshichi 1881-87 (this being 1881).

 

Fine impression: This is the first edition. It was republished by Matsuki Heikichi with altered signatures and other changes and inferior printing. Fine colour and condition. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi ga.

 

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Matsumura KEIBUN (1779-1843)




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A shijo brush drawing of a seabream and a lumpfish (?). One of Kyoto’s leading artists. Noted for his painting from nature. He studied with his older brother Matsumura Goshun as well as Maruyama Okyo. Sumi and light colour on paper, 10 x 14.75 in; 25.4 x 37.4 cms.

 

In good condition. Signed and sealed Keibun.

 

Status: Available

 

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Matsumura KEIBUN (1779-1843)




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A shijo brush drawing of a white horsehead and an acropomatidae (?). One of Kyoto’s leading artists. Noted for his painting from nature. He studied with his older brother Matsumura Goshun as well as Maruyama Okyo. Sumi and light colour on paper, 10.5 x 15 in; 26.7 x 38.1 cms.

 

In good condition. Signed and sealed Keibun.

 

Status: Available

 

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Matsumura KEIBUN (1779-1843)




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A shijo brush drawing of a red seabream. One of Kyoto’s leading artists. Noted for his paintings from nature. He studied with his older brother Matsumura Goshun as well as Maruyama Okyo. Sumi and light colour on paper, 10.5 x 17 in; 26.7 x 43.2 cms.

 

In good condition. Signed and sealed Keibun.

 

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Matsumura KEIBUN (1779-1843)




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A shijo brush drawing of a gurnard and a snapper (?). One of Kyoto’s leading artists. Noted for his painting from nature. He studied with his older brother Matsumura Goshun as well as Maruyama Okyo. Sumi and light colour on paper, 10.5 x 17.75 in; 26.7 x 45.1 cms.

 

In good condition. Signed and sealed Keibun.

 

Status: Available

 

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Nishiyama HOEN (1804-1867)




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An original painting showing the oiran Eguchi on a white elephant. The origins of this story seem to go back to a recorded conversation the poet-monk Saigyo (1118-1190) had with a prostitute named Eguchi giving rise to numerous legends. Eguchi is shown as a manifestation of the Budhisattva Fugen whose usual vehicle is a large white elephant. Hoen, one of the best shijo painters of his time, lived in Osaka and was a pupil of Keibun. Full colour on silk, 36.5 x 13 in; 92.7 x 33 cms. Mount showing signs of wear but image in good condition. Signed Hoen with seal (?) – Seisho.

 

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Yanagawa SHIGENOBU (1787-1833)




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An original painting by this artist who was the pupil and then son-in-law of Hokusai. He was given the name Yanagawa (from his residence in the Honjo district of Edo) to distinguish him from other Shigenobu artists. A good book illustrator and surimono designer. He designed the first square surimono in Osaka in 1822, inspiring others to follow. His paintings are rare. Shows a portrait of the Japanese scholar and writer Ishikawa Masamochi (1754-1830). The fifth son of Ishikawa Toyonobu, he was a renowned kyoka poet and Gesaku writer (playful, mocking works), including The Magical Carpenter of Japan. An important figure in kyoka/surimono circles. Known as Rokujuen (Yadao no Meshimori). His family crest is seen on his kimono and he sits before a low desk ready to write. A high quality painting, sumi and colour on silk, 29 x 12.5 in.; 73.6 x 31.8 cms. Several small backed wormholes at bottom, otherwise very good condition. Would benefit from being remounted.

 

Signed Shigenobu with seal Yanagawa.

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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The actor Onoe Taganojo II from a fine set of prints showing actors glimpsed through their dressing room sliding doors, prior to going on stage. Their figures partly silhouetted as are their assistants, here aiding the actor with his headpiece. From a set Gakuya nikai kage no hyoban, “Popularity of the Upstairs Dressing Room.” The set published by Takagawa Fusajiro, 1883.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

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ANONYMOUS (Late 18th century)




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An Uki-e, “floating picture” painting showing an interior with a puppet performance taking place. A puppeteer manipulates a female puppet in the centre, behind him two gidayu narrators and a shamisen player. A male puppet is being held behind a screen. Ladies behind a screen at right enjoy the drama. In fact, a male individual at the back seems overcome by emotion with a hanky to his face. The architecture is represented using one-point perspective, a style which made its way to Japan in the 1740’s from the West via China. (Interestingly the artist has got the perspective wrong on the screen at right.) This genre of painting – invariably unsigned – always shows interior or semi-interior views with banquets or, as here, puppet performances. Full colour on paper, 17 x 23 in; 43.2 x 58.5 cms. Minor marks, although good condition for this kind of painting.

 

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Tsukioka SETTEI (1710-1786)




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An original painting, sumi and light blue on silk. Image size 38.75 x 14.25 in; 98.4 x 36.2 cms. Shows a carp leaping a waterfall. This was a favourite subject for Japanese artists being a symbol of achievement against adversity. Carp were bred for their colour in Japan and, interestingly, Koi that are returned to the wild revert back to their grey colour. They are known to live for up to a hundred years or more. Settei produced many illustrated books but after around 1765 turned to painting beauties, courtesans and geishas. They are of the utmost refinement – the faces and limbs picked out in red, their costumes with areas of gold, and invariably have the wide lantern-locks (toro-bin) hairstyle. Signed Hogen Tsukioka Sessai jinen rokuju-nana (painted aged sixty-seven, hence 1777). Seal Masanobu no in. In good condition with splashed gofun.

 

Status: Available

 




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




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