After Maruyama Okyo Edo Period, late 18th century
Lot 290
After Maruyama Okyo Edo Period, late 18th century
Sold for £12,500 (US$ 20,425) inc. premium

Lot Details
After Maruyama Okyo Edo Period, late 18th century After Maruyama Okyo Edo Period, late 18th century After Maruyama Okyo Edo Period, late 18th century After Maruyama Okyo Edo Period, late 18th century
After Maruyama Okyo
Edo Period, late 18th century
A pair of six-fold screens, delicately painted in ink and light colour on paper with gold kirihaku, one screen depicting three geese in flight from right to left over a tumultuous sea, with inscribed signature Tenmei Mizunoto U Chuto sha Okyo (painted by Okyo in mid-Winter in the year of Rabbit in Tenmei period [1783]), and bearing two seals Okyo no in and Chusen; the other screen showing five geese standing, resting and wandering along the shore where the waves wash against rocks beside young pine trees, observing somewhat the storm brewing to their right and into the distance, with inscribed signature Okyo, and bearing two seals Okyo no in and Chusen. Each screen 170.2cm x 375cm (67in x 147 5/8in). (5).

Footnotes

  • 浜雁図 倣円山応挙 六曲一双 紙本淡彩 江戸時代(18世紀後期)
    銘「天明癸卯仲冬写 應挙」「應挙之印(白文方印)」「仲選(白文方印)」(左隻)
    銘「應挙」「應挙之印(白文方印)」「仲選(白文方印)」(右隻)


    Provenance: an English private collection, purchased from Mayuyama & Co., Tokyo, in 1955. These screens are also accompanied by the original invoice and a copy of a letter dated 1957, from the vendor Junkichi Mayuyama, confirming his belief that these screens are genuine, as sold by him.

    For other examples of the similar theme of birds (plovers) and waves depicted on fusuma by the great founder Maruyama Okyo (1733-1795), see Osaka Municipal Museum of Art, Tokubetsuten Maruyama Okyo: shaseiga sozo eno chosen, Exhibition Catalogue, p.94, pl.45; and for a fusuma depicting ducks in the same composition in flight above calm waters, see Minamoto Toyomune ed., Maruyama Okyo Gashu, p.265, pl.623. See also another similar style of screens depicting crows in flight by Okyo, in the Kimbell Art Museum, Foot Worth, Texas, USA.

    Both these screens are a fine example of the Okyo School's masterful usage of traditional Japanese ink technique and gold dust. Combining wide brush strokes and fine details, light and dark variety of ink shade, line work and ink washes; together with the gold dust, which is manipulated both as part of the background, perhaps to indicate autumn clouds, as well as the golden sand by the rocks, all contributes to create an overall well-balanced and evocative painting.

    Okyo was known to be brave in the 'white space' or negative unpainted surface that he kept in his work, at times stretching the border of the subject depicted from the perception of the viewer. The negative and positive usage of space in these screens is very much in the style of the Okyo school, in that the background which is partially negative space in the sky and the earth, receives a thick gold dust treatment in some other areas. The same treatment goes for the rocks, the waves and the geese themselves, which are not painted at all in parts, and yet in other areas are what seems to be wide washes of ink, or abstract free brush strokes.

    Together the screens as they unfold, are like a story that unfolds a tale to the viewer. Whilst the right hand screen is all about the drama and peril of the storm and the flights of the geese as they struggle against the wind, the whole disposition of the painting rich in movement and turmoil of the elements, the left screen offers a balance of stability to the setting. We can see the shore, a young pine tree, hinting power and strength. The water are calming down against the rocks, and one of the geese is in deep slumber.
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