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Pigeons - ehon diptych from Keinen kachō gafu (景年花鳥画譜)

Identifier: 1890c Keinen Pigeons.jpg
Description:

According to the Rijksmuseum the four volumes of this series each represent a season.

The curatorial files at the Spencer Library at the University of Kansas note "The nineteenth-century was a heyday for kachō-e in Japan. The famous ukiyo-e artists Hokusai and Hiroshige excelled in this genre, as did a many artists in other schools of painting. Jack Hillier, author of The Art of the Japanese Book, begins his chapter on “Kachō-e and Natural History Books” with the disclaimer: “In the nineteenth century, there is such a plethora of books entirely of kachō-e or containing a diversity of prints including those of birds, flowers and the like, that only a representative selection is possible here.” That Hillier selected Imao Keinen for inclusion is indicative of his stature, as is the characterization of his Keinen kachō gafu as not only the artist’s finest work but also “one of the most splendid productions of the Meiji period.” Louise Norton Brown went so far as to suggest that it “is perhaps the most beautiful work of this kind ever printed in Japan.”

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