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Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891)
Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891)

Album of twelve lacquer paintings

Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891)
Album of twelve lacquer paintings
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 5/8in. (19.5 x 16.8cm.) each approx.
Box signed, sealed and authenticated by Umezawa Ryushin (1874-1952), the youngest of Zeshin's three sons, and by Ayaoka Yushin (1846-1910), one of Zeshin's students

Lot Essay

These twelve lacquer paintings of landscapes, plant and animal studies--perhaps corresponding to the twelve months--are newly discovered. 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.

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