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SHIBATA ZESHIN (1807-1891)
SHIBATA ZESHIN (1807-1891)
SHIBATA ZESHIN (1807-1891)
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SHIBATA ZESHIN (1807-1891)
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PROPERTY FROM A PRINCELY COLLECTION
SHIBATA ZESHIN (1807-1891)

Landscapes, plants and animals of four seasons

Details
SHIBATA ZESHIN (1807-1891)
Landscapes, plants and animals of four seasons
Each signed Zeshin, sealed Koma, Zeshin, Shin or Tairyukyo
Twelve paintings for an accordion album; lacquer on paper or lacquer and gold leaf on paper
7 5/8 x 6 5/8 in. (19.5 x 16.8 cm.) each approx.
(12)With a wood box authenticated by Umezawa Ryushin (1874-1952), the youngest of Zeshin's three sons, and by Ayaoka Yushin (1846-1910), one of Zeshin's students
Provenance
Previously sold in these Rooms, 18 September 2013, lot 690
Suzuki Toshiyuki (1838-1914), Tokyo

Brought to you by

Takaaki Murakami
Takaaki Murakami Vice President, Specialist and Head of Department

Lot Essay

Zeshin was a virtuoso technician: he developed the technique of using lacquer as a painting medium which gives an impression of richness and three-dimensionality. Painting with lacquer, a viscous and sticky substance, was extremely difficult. The artist’s patience and skill in recreating delicate details is almost unimaginable.
These twelve lacquer paintings of landscapes, plant and animal studies are small masterpieces. They were issued as an unbound set for an album, and appear close in date, quality and style to the album with lacquer paintings in the Imperial Household Collection, purchased in 1881 at the National Industrial Exposition (see Ann Yonemura, intro., Twelve Centuries of Japanese Art from the Imperial Collections [Washington, DC: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1997], pl. 56).
For an album of high quality with eight lacquer paintings of circa 1880-90 of the same size on loan to the San Antonio Museum of Art from the Edson Collection, see The Art of Shibata Zeshin Featuring the Edson Collection, ed. Nikkei (Tokyo: Nikkei, Inc., 2009), no. E 53; and Sebastian Izzard, Zeshin: The Catherine and Thomas Edson Collection (San Antonio: The San Antonio Museum of Art, 2007), pl. 46. Izzard speculates that the Edson album also was issued as an unbound set.
The former owner, Suzuki Toshiyuki (1838-1914) was a powerful banker in the Meiji period and one of the founding members of the Imperial Bank of Commerce in 1894. He also served as committee member of the Japan Fine Arts Association (Nihon Bijutsu Kyokai).
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