Jakuchû: Jakuchû gajôJakuchû: Jakuchû gajô
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Jakuchû: Jakuchû gajôJakuchû: Jakuchû gajô
Move your mouse over image or click to enlarge


Jakuchû: Jakuchû gajôJakuchû: Jakuchû gajô
Move your mouse over image or click to enlarge


Jakuchû: Jakuchû gajôJakuchû: Jakuchû gajô
Move your mouse over image or click to enlarge

Jakuchû: Jakuchû gajôJakuchû: Jakuchû gajô
Move your mouse over image or click to enlarge

Jakuchû: Jakuchû gajôJakuchû: Jakuchû gajô
Move your mouse over image or click to enlarge

Itô Jakuchû (1716-1800) - Jakuchû gajô (Jakuchû's Picture Album)

The very elegant black-and-white pictures in this much-praised work by the painter Jakuchû display a variety of plants and flowers, including many insects and other small animals such as amphibians, e.g. lizards, frogs and others. The highly stylised plants are often depicted in a state of decay, bearing signs of animal damage and perforated leaves -  a Zen-Buddhist stylistic device that makes one think of the artistic Baroque in Europe – both illustrating the ephemerality of being (memento mori).

Two leporello albums , complete with a total of 84 Ishizuri-e (aka Taku-hanga), negative or white line prints from wooden plates, in which a very fine, moistened paper is pressed firmly into the cut-out parts of the motif; after inking the paper-covered block and lifting off the paper, the cut-out images show in white on a black ground. This technique was developed from the Chinese stone rubbing, hence the name Ishizuri-e (stone print image).

Publisher: Heian shobô, Unsôdô, Kyoto. Date: n.d. (after 1891, c. 1910 or earlier)

Size: 2 volumes, Orihon (accordion binding), Tokuôbon, 31 x 20,5 cm (images 27 x 17 cm), covers with dust-blue paper, title slips in Ishizuri. Later dark blue Japanese cloth slipcase with two white clasps (31,3 x 21,5 x 6 cm)

Vol. 1: 2 p. title "Genpo Yôka". Incl. title 48 black and white Ishizuri prints, ink on very thin China paper, mounted onto thicker album paper.

Vol. 2: 36 Ishizuri prints, ink on very thin China paper, mounted onto thicker album paper. On the last page colophon with signature: Tô (Fuji(wara)) Jokin Keiwa (Jakuchû's artist go) and 2 red seals (Jakuchû, and unread). Publishers mark: Heian-shobô (Heian bookshop), Unsôdo-zô (owned by Unsôdô), and publisher's seal.

Very good impression. The black background is finely textured, almost appearing grey, occasionally wrinkle-like structures can be seen – possibly a fine cloth was additionally used in the printing process. The covers with traces of use, rubbed, mainly in margins, toned, some minor staining. The album paper lightly stained, slightly toned in margins, the images only very lightly stained. Some album folds partly split. Overall still in very good condition, especially considering the great rarity of this Unsôdô edition. Japanese collector's seal inside both volumes.

This very rare work, printed by Unsôdô likely at the beginning of the 20th century, and possibly in the extremely elaborate original technique, is an joint edition of all (except one) images from the two extremely rare volumes of "Genpo yôka" (roughly "Exquisite Flowers from the Realm of the Immortals", a metaphor from Chinese Taoism) first published in 1768, and of "Soken Sekisatsu", however without script and the poem pages. Especially in the first volume, the rendition of the images from the first edition of Genpo Yôka is so meticulous that one might even think of Unsôdô having used the original blocks. Exact dating of this edition is not possible, even Hida does not give a date; NDL dates it to 1910; the earliest possible date is 1891, since Unsôdô was founded in that year. Jakuchû's rediscovered work clearly influenced both Art Nouveau and modern Japanese printmaking.

€ 6.900,-

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