Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841) Dated 1832

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Lot 156*
Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841)
Dated 1832

Sold for £ 66,000 (US$ 79,662) inc. premium
Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841)
Dated 1832
Kakejiku, painted in Kano style, in sumi and slight colour on silk, depicting bats flying over turbulent water, an inscription at the top right reading Jiritsu Mizunoe Tatsu shushun jyokan sha o Zenrakudo Nobori(painted at the begining of the first month in the year of the Dragon [1832] at Zenrakudo by Nobori), signed with two seals Watanabe Nobori in and Kazan; with double wood tomobako, the inside of the inner box with a long inscription by Watanabe Kaseki, extolling the virtues and character of the artist as well as authenticating the painting. 127.2cm x 70cm (50 1/8in x 27½in). (3).

Footnotes

  • 福海図 渡辺崋山 一幅 絹本淡彩 天保3年(1832年)

    Published and Exhibited: Itabashi Art Museum, Tani Buncho to sono ichimon (Tani Buncho and his school), Exhibition Catalogue, Tokyo 2007, p.83. Compare another painting by Kazan featuring a similarly executed composition of a shoal of fish above waves, illustrated in the Exhibition Catalogue, Watanabe Kazan ten: bushi to bunjin tono aida de, Tochigi Kenritsu Bijutsu-kan (Tochigi Prefectural Museum), Utsunomiya, 1984, pl.39.

    Extant paintings by Kazan are rare, the subject depicted is known as Fukukai (fortune as vast as the ocean), as the words for fuku (fortune) and komori (bat) share the same tsukuri (right hand side radical of the Chinese character). In this image, the artist is almost certainly paying homage to Kano Tanyu (1602-1674) whose kakejiku masterpiece portraying a similar theme of swallows flying over waves is in the collection of the Tokiwayama Bunko in Kamakura.

    Watanabe Kazan was a senior retainer of Tahara Domain (present Tahara City, Aichi Prefecture). During the Bansha no goku (Suppression of Barbarian studies) incident of 1839, in which the government suppressed Western studies, Kazan was wrongly implicated for writing Shinkiron a treatise for arguing the end of national isolation, and placed under house arrest; his family was forced to leave Tahara and Kazan committed suicide on October, 1841.

    A poet and a skilled painter known as one of Tani Buncho's (1763-1840) four outstanding disciples, he also studied under the Nanga painter Kaneko Kinryo and learnt Western-style painting. His most typical work was Bunjinga but also produced portraits - working from preliminary sketches - of scholars and literary figures that show Western influence.

    Watanabe Kaseki (1852-1930) who authenticated this painting, was born in Owari, present Aichi prefecture, and learnt painting under Watanabe Shoka (1835-1887), the second son of Watanabe Kazan. After the death of Watanabe Shoka, Kaseki succeeded to the Watanabe family.
Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841) Dated 1832
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