Friday, 6 October 2017

Imao Keinen’s woodblock diptych, “Two birds in a flowering pear tree”, 1891


Imao Keinen 今尾景年 (1845–1924)

Oban diptych, “Two birds in a flowering pear tree” (descriptive title only), 1891, published by Nishimura Soemon in the “Spring Album” of the four-volumes of colour woodblock printed books, “Flowers and birds of four seasons.”

Colour woodblock prints (two panels) on washi paper with margins and stab-binding holes as published.
Size of each panel: (sheet) 36.8 x 25.5 cm; (image borderline) 32.1 x 22.5 cm


Condition: crisp and well-printed impressions in good condition.  Both sheets have light spattering of colour on the binding margin and the right panel has a colour mark accidentally left on a flower by the printer—it was a dark and stormy night and the assistant printer, Cecil, had been drinking far too much Sake. At top of the right panel there is a hand-written Japanese character (I believe that it is the number, “9”).

I am selling this pair of large original woodblock prints for the total cost of AU$179 (currently US$138.81/EUR118.82/GBP106.43 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing these exquisite and genuine colour woodblock prints by one of the great masters of Japanese printmaking, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This pair of prints have been sold


I was looking back through my earlier listings of prints by Imao Keinen and to my surprise I found that I had an original painting by the master that I had forgotten about (see http://www.printsandprinciples.com/2013/01/hyakusen-keinen-kyuko-and-rosetsu.html). What makes this discovery even more surprising for me is that in the discussion where the painting—a collaborative work involving a few masters—is featured, I included a demonstration about how to load an Oriental brush with the traditional three tones needed to make meaningful marks. … Funny how one’s memory quickly fades about such things that were once important! When I look at this print and the shape of the marks carved into the block to mimic brushstrokes, I can still remember instructing my painting class at the time, how to make “proper” marks with titles for key strokes like “head of the shrimp”, “tail of the shark”, “the thorn” and “the lanceolate leaf.” My greatest fear at the time was to find that I had someone in my class that really knew a lot about Oriental painting. Luckily, I never did—or at least the folk that did have “the knowledge” had the courtesy not to correct me while laughing quietly to themselves.