Antique, Imao Keinen Woodblock Print, Seitei Audubon admirers! Ukiyoe Rare Gafu

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Seller: dogstar_rising (643) 100%, Location: Astoria, New York, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 264307024697 KEINEN KACHÔ GAFU (Album of Birds and Flowers by Imao Keinen); Kyoto: Tanaka Jihei. Meiji 24-25 [1891-2] RARE BOOKPLATE FROM THE VOLUME “WINTER” These original Tanaka Jihei prints (which preceded the Unsodo version) have become quite scarce. You will notice that there is a western numeral captioning the top of the image, this is the true first printing—the most sought after and desirable of all. Save for a fraction of the right hand corner being cut after suffering the attrition of nest building rats (which, by the way, does not affect the integrity of the image in any way) the prints from this edition are excellent; the colors subtle and lovely.Wonderful use of usuzumi technique (the printing technique of diluting ink to create a painterly effect). This technique is most evident in the branches, leaves and grasses in these prints. Whereas the birds are always given great attention to detail. Sharp, delicate printing. Excellent state of preservation for the age. Each leaf measures approx. 9-7/8” x 10-1/4”Actual image size measure approx. 8-1/2” x 12-1/2” ALL THIS PRINT NEEDS IS THE PERFECT FRAME The image size of a single leaf is significantly larger than the Kachô Gafu series by Seitei Watanabe (the image size of that series is 5-l/2” x 7-3/4”). I have included a photo of this print by Keinen next to a print by Seitei for reference (see last photo). The reason I am doing this is simply because I myself was quite surprised when I first saw the Keinen Kacho Gafû. CHOICE, RARE! PRINTS LIKE THESE RARELY LAND ON ANYONE’S DOORSTEP. These masterful color woodblock prints lend a delicate beauty to each portrait of birds in their natural settings. Printed on creamy paper, with virtually no foxing, thumbing or toning. Imao Keinen (1845-1924) Title: Keinen kachō gafu (Album of drawings of flowers and birds by Keinen). Description: Keinen kachō gafu is the most famous Japanese book of birds and flowers of the Meiji Period. Each volume is associated to a season. This work is linked to the world of Japanese textile and it was a design source for the kimono decoration and embroidery. The book was commissioned by Nishimura Sōzaemon (1855-1935), a major producer and trader in Kyōto specializing in embroidery and hand-painted yūzen textiles. A sheet in English that advertised the activity of Sōzaemon was occasionally included in each volume. The style of the illustrations, much influenced by Western art, met with great success in the West and many copies of the book were sold, at the end of the nineteenth century, in the universal exhibitions in Europe and America where Sōzaemon exhibited his textiles. The artist, Imao Keinen, was a famous painter and illustrator specializing in kacho-ga (painting of flowers and birds) that came from a house of costume-design coordinator that served the Mitsui family for generations. Like other artists in Kyōto, Keinen, in addition to his work as a painter, worked for Sōzaemon in the laborious decoration of yūzen fabrics. The Keinen kachō gafu was conceived and realized in close contact with the naturalist Yamamoto Akio and with two renowned artisans, the carver Tanaka Jirōkichi and the printer Miki Jinzaburō. The first edition of Keinen kachō gafu was published by Tanaka Jihei, a Kyōto publisher who curated the printing, publication and distribution while the woodblocks ownership was always of Nishimura Sōzaemon. Subsequently, around 1894, the publisher Unsōdō acquired all Tanaka Jihei stock and publication rights and reprinted the work with the original woodblocks, replacing in the colophon the name of Tanaka Jihei with his own. Date: The first two volumes are dated in the colophon Meiji 24 (1891), the third and fourth Meiji 25 (1892). Publisher: Nishimura Sozaemon, Tanaka Jihei, Kyōto. Block-cutter: Tanaka Jirōkichi. Printer Miki Jinzaburō. Additional Information: Imao Keinen (1845-1924) studied ukiyo-e woodblock printing and other traditional Japanese art styles, and eventually became a professor at the Kyoto Prefecture School of Painting in 1880. These prints, from Keinan Kacho Gafu, solidified his importance as Japanese artist. Soon after their publication in 1891 he was made a member of the Imperial Household Art Committee and a Member of the Imperial Art Academy. These breathtakingly beautiful woodblock prints illustrate more than 100 different birds in specific seasonal settings. Though little known in the west, they represent one of the pinnacles of the Shin Hanga movement and with this printing quality and fine state of preservation are a treasure rarely seen. Again, these prints are from the very scarce original Tanaka edition of 1891-1892 and have not been trimmed in any way. Original/Reproduction: Antique Original

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