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Thursday 10 February 2022

Watanabe Shōtei’s woodblock print (diptych), “Cicada on Lotus”, c1890

Watanabe Shōtei [渡辺省亭] (aka Watanabe Seitei) (1851–1918)

“Cicada on Lotus,” c1890, from the series of 86 woodblock prints, “Seitei kacho gafu 省亭花鳥画譜 (Seitei's Bird-and-Flower Painting Manual)”, published in 1890 by Ogura Shoten. Two separate colour woodblock panels glued together as a single image (i.e., two prints joined as a single sheet), 24.8 x 31 cm.

For more information regarding the publication of this print, see the following:

Louise Norton Brown 1924, “Block Printing and Book Illustration in Japan”, London and New York, p. 202; C H Mitchell 1972,”The Illustrated Books of the Nanga, Maruyama, Shijo and Other Related Schools of Japan. A Biobibliography”, Los Angeles, p. 466; Kenji Toda 1931, “Descriptive Catalogue of the Japanese and Chinese Illustrated Books in the Ryerson Library of the Art Institute of Chicago”, Chicago, p. 427.

Condition: strong and well-printed impressions joined as a diptych in a near pristine condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing.

I am selling this extraordinarily beautiful colour woodblock diptych by an acclaimed master of the Japanese woodblock tradition and, interestingly, one of the first Japanese woodblock artists to visit Europe—note that Watanabe Shōtei attended the 1878 International Exhibition in Paris and was awarded a medal (see—for AU$252 in total (currently US$181/EUR158.37/GBP133.68 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this amazing composition crafted with exceptional creative invention—note the how the placement of the cicada and the spent flower/seed pod are balanced as if on a seesaw with the fulcrum of their balanced state being the centre of the composition—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold 

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