IKKYU SOJUN 一休宗純 (1394-1481) Wild Orchids, Rock, and Bamboo, with CalligraphyMuromachi period (1333-1573), 15th century
Lot 2083
IKKYU SOJUN 一休宗純 (1394-1481)
Wild Orchids, Rock, and Bamboo, with Calligraphy
Muromachi period (1333-1573), 15th century
US$ 150,000 - 250,000
£ 120,000 - 190,000

Fine Japanese and Korean Art

21 Mar 2018, 13:00 EDT

New York

Lot Details
IKKYU SOJUN 一休宗純 (1394-1481) Wild Orchids, Rock, and Bamboo, with CalligraphyMuromachi period (1333-1573), 15th century IKKYU SOJUN 一休宗純 (1394-1481) Wild Orchids, Rock, and Bamboo, with CalligraphyMuromachi period (1333-1573), 15th century IKKYU SOJUN 一休宗純 (1394-1481) Wild Orchids, Rock, and Bamboo, with CalligraphyMuromachi period (1333-1573), 15th century IKKYU SOJUN 一休宗純 (1394-1481) Wild Orchids, Rock, and Bamboo, with CalligraphyMuromachi period (1333-1573), 15th century IKKYU SOJUN 一休宗純 (1394-1481) Wild Orchids, Rock, and Bamboo, with CalligraphyMuromachi period (1333-1573), 15th century IKKYU SOJUN 一休宗純 (1394-1481) Wild Orchids, Rock, and Bamboo, with CalligraphyMuromachi period (1333-1573), 15th century IKKYU SOJUN 一休宗純 (1394-1481) Wild Orchids, Rock, and Bamboo, with CalligraphyMuromachi period (1333-1573), 15th century IKKYU SOJUN 一休宗純 (1394-1481) Wild Orchids, Rock, and Bamboo, with CalligraphyMuromachi period (1333-1573), 15th century IKKYU SOJUN 一休宗純 (1394-1481) Wild Orchids, Rock, and Bamboo, with CalligraphyMuromachi period (1333-1573), 15th century IKKYU SOJUN 一休宗純 (1394-1481) Wild Orchids, Rock, and Bamboo, with CalligraphyMuromachi period (1333-1573), 15th century IKKYU SOJUN 一休宗純 (1394-1481) Wild Orchids, Rock, and Bamboo, with CalligraphyMuromachi period (1333-1573), 15th century
IKKYU SOJUN 一休宗純 (1394-1481)
Wild Orchids, Rock, and Bamboo, with Calligraphy
Muromachi period (1333-1573), 15th century

Kakejiku (hanging scroll), ink on paper; inscribed at right: Daito Shuho Kokushi Goyo Ryuho monkyaku Tokai Ikkyu-ro no shi tomo ni ga ippitsu 大燈宗峯國師五葉龍寶門客東海一休老納詩与畫一筆 (Old Man Tokai Ikkyu, guest of Daito Shuho Kokushi Goyo Ryuho, offered this poem and painting from the same brush); Inscribed above with a Chinese poem: 屈平佩惠世傳芳 楚国詞人吟奥長 湘水不須言逆耳 汨羅江上送春香 (The fragrance of Qu's orchid passes from generation to generation / the verses chanted by this poet of Chu were wide and deep / the waters of the Xiang River ignored his words and blocked its ears to them / but they spread the scent of spring over the waters of Miluo)

With fitted lacquered-wood tomobako storage box dated Genbun gannen tatsu shichigatsu mikka 元文元年辰七月三日 (Third day of the seventh month of 1736) and inscribed to the effect that the painting has a certificate by the Daitokuji abbot Gyokushu 玉舟 (1599-1668); the documents accompanying this lot include the certificate by Gyokushu; another certificate with a label inscribed by Takuan Soho 沢庵宗彭 (1573-1645), also a Daitokuji abbot; an annotated copy of the Chinese poem, with glosses in Japanese; and a copy of the Tokyo Art Club price list of 1926 (see below)
33 1/4in x 15 1/4in (84.4 x 38.7cm)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Kataoka Family Collection, until 1926
    Takashi Yanagi, Kyoto
    The Estate of George Gund III (1937-2013), from 1992

    Published
    Tokyo Art Club 東京美術倶楽部, Kataoka-ke shozohin rakusatsu takane-hyo 片岡家所蔵品落札高値表 (Prices [Above 300 Yen] Realized at the Sale of the Kataoka Family Collection), auction report, October 11, 1926, no. 14 (1,050 yen)
    Michael R. Cunningham, Ink Paintings and Ash-Glazed Ceramics: Medieval Calligraphy, Painting, and Ceramic Art from Japan and Korea, exhibition catalogue, Cleveland OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, March 19-May 28, 2000, cat. no. 3, pp.25-27

    Famed for his radical approach to Zen and his superficially dissolute lifestyle, Ikkyu Sojun was one of the most important religious leaders of Japan's later middle ages. Although better known for his voluminous and eccentric Chinese poetry, he painted a small number of expressive, gestural scrolls executed in ink on paper that feature plant forms, usually wild orchids, and appear to have been inspired by earlier Zen priest-artists such as Gyokuen Bonpo (1349-after 1420) who produced more than 20 such compositions; see Anne Nishimura Morse and others, Arts of Japan, Boston: MFA Publications, 2008, p. 64. Like Bonpo, Ikkyu chose the orchid as his subject because it symbolized the upright Chinese scholar alienated from the corruption of power.

    The present lot is closely related to the right-hand half of a pair of scrolls in the Century Cultural Foundation, Tokyo which has a similar composition and is inscribed with the same poem except for some differences in the first line; see http://www.ccf.or.jp/jp/03museum/detail.html?SelectExsID=698. Ikkyu's poem relates to the great early Chinese poet Qu Yuan from the state of Chu in southern China. Following his unjust banishment from both court and state, Qu committed suicide by throwing himself in the Miluo River, a tributuary of the Xiang River on the eastern bank of Lake Dongting. As noted by Michael Cunningham, Ikkyu here likens Qu's understated "moral character to that of the scent of the wild orchid, which goes largely unnoticed in the world."
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