Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) Dated 29th day, 2nd month

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 252
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)
Dated 29th day, 2nd month

Sold for £ 24,000 (US$ 32,001) inc. premium
Drawings

Property from a private collection
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)
Dated 29th day, 2nd month
From the album Nisshin joma (Daily Exorcisms), depicting a Rakan riding a shishi, in ink on paper, inscribed on the right Hangoô (possibly a fantastical name for the Rakan, borne from the fertile imagination of the artist), dated on the left, Nigatsu nijukunichi (2nd month, 29th day), unsigned. 31½cm x 22½cm (12 3/8in x 8¾in), framed and glazed.

Footnotes

  • The shishi or mythological Chinese lion was a recurrent motif in Hokusai's extensive artistic repertoire. In ancient China the lion was an emblem of Imperial power, and through associations became popular in Japan as a motif connected with the military elite but for Hokusai it would appear that the Chinese lion imbued more playful and auspicious qualities - as an animal that wards off illness, bad omen and death, hence the name by which the title of this album is known, Nisshin joma (Daily exorcisms).

    During the last decades of his illustrious career, around Tempo 14 (1843), Hokusai already in his eighties, produced hundreds of ink drawings of lions on paper, apparently for himself, as a talisman in defiance of old age. Each day every morning, at least one drawing was created in the course of one year. Some drawings showing the shishi in a variety of amusing poses whilst others personify the shishi in the guise of, or in the company of, popular historical or legendary figures. The exact number of these impromptu shishi sketches are not known but over two hundred are believed to be extant today, the majority of which make up the Nisshin joma album which was presented to Miyamoto Shinsuke, Hokusai's samurai-patron by O'ei when her father could not complete a commissioned painting on time.

    This drawing, hitherto unrecorded, was certainly intended for the same series. The work embodies the artist's extraordinary adeptness and virtuosity with the native brush - from the casually executed heavy slurred strokes representing the Rakan's robes to the finer more precise line of the figure's head, hair and hands. The tail and mane of the lion typically rendered like swirls of smoke, the intense glare of the animal mirroring that of the Rakan, as well as the bolder and defined outline of the animal's back and right hindleg, are all characteristics which serve to exemplify the work as being by the hand of the Master. In addition the calligraphy flanking the image also matches the handwriting on the sheets from the Miyamoto album.

    The drawing is backed with several layers of calcium carbonate treated paper - as was (and still is) the tradition with paintings and drawings considered to be of high quality. These backing papers were used in order to help preserve the support (the original paper) and to help facilitate rolling and unrolling in the case of scrolls. This would explain the remarkable condition of the paper as it is today.

    Compare stylistically with `Rakan leaning on a lion', dated 21st day, 5th day, 5th month and `Rakan riding a lion', dated 28th day, 7th month, from the Nisshin joma, illustrated, Le Fou de Peinture: Hokusai et son Temps, Centre Culturel du Marais, Paris 1980, p.290.

    Another drawing dated 29th day, 2nd month from the Nisshin joma, the same date as the example here, is illustrated, ibid., p.281.

    Provenance: purchased from Janette Ostier Paris, in 1974. Ostier recorded the drawing as originating from the collection of Siegfried Bing (1838-1905).

    Literature: Calza, Gian Carlo with John Carpenter, eds. Hokusai Painting: Selected Essays. Venice: International Hokusai Research Centre, University of Venice. 1994

    Hillier, J. Hokusai Drawings. London: Phaidon, 1966.

    Lane, R. Hokusai: Life and Work. London: E. P. Dutton, 1989.

    Le Fou de Peinture: Hokusai et son Temps. Exh.cat. Paris: Centre Culturel du Marais, 1980.

    Nagata, S. Kachoga (Bird and Flower Paintings), Hokusai bijutsukan (Hokusai Museum), vol.1. Tokyo: Shueisha, 1990.

    Hokusaikan ed., Katsushika Hokusai; yonhyaku yonjyushunensai kinenten. Obuse: Hokusaikan, 1989.
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) Dated 29th day, 2nd month
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine, Whisky and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £10,000 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £10,000 up to and including £450,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £450,000 up to and including £4,500,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £4,500,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.