Japanese Meiji Period Dragonfly Screen on Silver Leaf, Kawabe Kakyo For Sale
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Japanese Meiji Period Dragonfly Screen on Silver Leaf, Kawabe Kakyo

About

Dragonflies Kawabe Kakyo (1844-1928) Folding screen, ink, mineral pigment and gofun on silver leaf. Painting inscription: Kakyo Painting seal: Kakyo Sanho Early Meiji period, circa 1870/1880. Dimensions: Screen: 241 cm x  72 cm (95” x 28”) A medium-sized Meiji period Japanese screen depicting dragonflies or tombo on a silver leaf ground. The dragonflies are meticulously depicted, with the artist obsessively describing their characteristics and colour patterns. The detail, variety, and sheer number of insects, executed in fine-quality pigments, along with other features of the screen’s construction indicate that the family who commissioned it was aristocratic. Fifty seven dragonflies are present on this screen and it would be reasonable to assume that its pair (location unknown), contained a further forty three. The theme is closely related to ‘100 boys’ and ‘100 horses’, with overtones of abundance and fertility. This felicitous them on a folding screen has no known precedent in Japanese art. In ancient mythology, Japan was known as Akitsu-shima, which means ‘Land of the Dragonflies’. Japanese farmers believed the dragonfly was the spirit of the rice plant and they were a welcome sign of a good rice harvest. The dragonfly or tombo is also perhaps the most ancient design in Japan, having been found on the oldest discovered primitive pottery. Kawabe Kakyo (1844-1828) was an Osaka based artist and the first son of the artist Kawabe Kain. Originally studying painting under his father, he went on to be mentored by some of the more illustrious artists of the Meiji era including Kano Eigaku, Oda Kaisen and Tosa Mitsukiyo. He was a close friend of Mori Kansai. In 1880, by order of the Osaka Municipal Government, he copied paintings of the Shoso-in treasures. In 1881 Kakyo received the Certificate of Merit at the first and the second Naikoku Kaiga Kyoshinkai (Domestic Painting Competition) in 1882 and 1884 as well as at the 14th Kyoto Hakurankai (Kyoto Exhibition) in 1885.

Details

  • Creator
    Kawabe Kakyo (Artist)
  • Of the Period
  • Place of Origin
  • Condition
  • Condition Details
    Structurally, the screen is in very good condition. There are virtually no scratches present on the painted surface. The silver leaf has unevenly worn and oxidised leading to the unusual patina.
  • Wear
    Minor fading.
  • Dimensions
    H 28 in. x W 95 in. x D .75 in.H 71.12 cm x W 241.3 cm x D 1.91 cm
  • Seller Location
    Kyoto, JP
  • Reference Number
    LU2472312240073
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About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
Gold
1stdibs seller since 2016
Located in Kyoto, JP
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