Mori SOSEN (1747-1821)




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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.

 

 

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Mori SOSEN (1747-1821)




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An original fan painting of a baby tanuki amongst autumn grasses and beneath a full moon. Sosen was a close observer of nature (even, it is said, living for a while in the woods to closely observe the animals). He is best known for his monkey paintings, of which there are many copies. The tanuki, or Japanese raccoon dog, is frequently depicted in Japanese art and mentioned in the folklore. It was reputed to be a mischievous creature and a master of disguise. Sumi and colour on a gold-flecked paper ground; 8 x 20.5 in; 20.5 x 52 cms. Mounted as a scroll. Old mount and box. An inscription on the inside of the box reads: Kokou Souryo shintei, “Judged by Kokou Souryo.” On the outside the inscription reads: Shunsou-tanuki-senmen, “Autumn grass tanuki fan.”

 

Sosen hitsu. Painted c. 1800. Signed Sosen with seals Shusho. Good overall condition.

 

Status: Sold

 




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Mori SOSEN (1747-1821)




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A large original painting of one hundred monkeys. Sumi and light red on silk. Image size 57.5 x 32.25 in; 146 x 82 cms. The monkeys – some being white – are painted with great finesse and are shown perched on and scrambling over a large peach tree. Others are seated on rocky ledges around the tree in a mountainous landscape with a waterfall top left. Sosen is considered the best painter of monkeys in Japan, although he also depicted other animals. He is supposed to have lived for a while in the woods to better observe the monkeys. There are many copies of his work. Sosen produced several other one hundred monkey paintings and they are his masterpieces.

 

In very good condition. Signed Sosen utsusu with seal Morizo. A superb painting and extremely rare.

 

Status: Sold

 




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School of Mori SOSEN (c. early 19th century)




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A group of seven small monkey paintings on silk, 11.75 x 11 cms. Of fine quality. Probably by a leading Sosen pupil. Mounted in a concertina album. Unsigned.



Status: Sold




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