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WU CHANGSHUO (1844-1927) / KUSAKABE MEIKAKU (1838-1922)
WU CHANGSHUO (1844-1927) / KUSAKABE MEIKAKU (1838-1922)
WU CHANGSHUO (1844-1927) / KUSAKABE MEIKAKU (1838-1922)
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WU CHANGSHUO (1844-1927) / KUSAKABE MEIKAKU (1838-1922)
20 More
WU CHANGSHUO (1844-1927) / KUSAKABE MEIKAKU (1838-1922)

Panel Screens of Flowers and Calligraphy

WU CHANGSHUO (1844-1927) / KUSAKABE MEIKAKU (1838-1922)
Panel Screens of Flowers and Calligraphy
Sixteen scrolls, mounted as a pair of eight-panel screens, ink and colour / ink on paper
Each screen measures 150.5 x 40.3 cm. (59 1⁄4 x 15 7⁄8 in.)
(2)Eight scrolls inscribed and signed by Wu Changshuo, with a total of sixteen seals
One scroll dated spring, renzi year (1912)
Eight scrolls inscribed and signed by Kusakabe Meikaku, with a total of twenty four seals
One scroll dated spring, jiayin year (1914)

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Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯)
Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯) Vice President, Senior Specialist, Head of Sale

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Lot Essay

This pair of Japanese-style panel screens consists of Wu Changshuo’s 1912 depictions of eight plants and flowers in the style of Zhao Zhiqian, accompanied by Kusakabe Meikaku’s 1914 calligraphy transcribing poems by Su Shi. At 150 cm in height, the gold-background screens bearing such bold images certainly brighten any room.
Kusakabe Meikaku, a distinguished calligrapher active during the Meiji period, was considered one of the “Three Brushes of Meiji” (Meiji no Sanpitsu), ranking alongside Nakabayashi Gochiku and Iwaya Ichiroku. Friendly with Yang Shoujing, who was visiting Japan during the Meiji period, Meikaku studied calligraphy and epigraphy from Yang and achieved dominance with his creative northern epigraphic characteristic. He met Wu Changshuo in 1891 when he visited steles bearing carvings of Wang Xizhi’s works and other calligraphers in the Shanghai region. Meikaku was so impressed by a seal Wu carved and gifted to him, he commissioned him to make several more. The flourishing friendship compelled Meikaku to become the earliest and most influential promoter of Wu’s art in Japan. When Meikaku passed away in 1922, it was Wu who wrote the epitaph. A stele commemorating the 100th year of their encounter stands at Xiling Seal Art Society in Hangzhou today, a testament to the significance of this friendship.
The large scale of this pair of eight-panel screens suggests that it was not meant for practical use at home. Most likely it was commissioned by a collector who favoured epigraphy and Su Shi, and was socially important enough to make the requests to the two leading masters of epigraphy.

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