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Eight-panel folding screen paper, ink, watercolours, and gold. Signed; Hoitsu-Hitsu and red seal mark. Seven cranes in search of food are joined by two more. Four birds have raised their heads and watch the landing companions with interest. The one whose back is turned on them has also turned its head to look round. Cranes are known for forming couples which subsequently incubate the eggs and guard the younglings together, but mating is undertaken in large groups. They also gather into large flocks to fly to distant areas in picturesque V formations. In this excellent example of a Rimpa school painting, the artist strikes a harmonious balance between realism and decorative quality. He shows the cranes in motion, moving with tremendous grace. At the same time, the gold sprinkled on the background into shapes resembling small clouds makes the scene look unreal, taking the birds into an ideal space, undistracted - admires their beauty and picturesque dance. The seven cranes on the ground are captured in different poses but their wings resting on their side endow them with a static quality. And then the spread wings, bent legs and necks of the two birds flying in from the left add dynamism to the composition. As is the case with numerous Japanese works of art, harmony is attained here despite the asymmetry. The signature points to Hoitsu (1761-1828), a Rimpa master who skilfully combined various stylistic elements. Before he chose the Rimpa school, he had apprenticed with a number of workshops of the Kano and Maruyama schools, and also with Utagawa Toyoharu, an ukiyo-e artist, and So Shiseki of the Nanga school. His work made the Rimpa school's style more vivid in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, attracting many new students. They soon joined the movement aiming to revive traditional Japanese art.

W 5520mm H 1790mm

Ref: WEB836 (3855)

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Six-panel folding screen. paper, ink, colour pigments, and go fun. A stylized meandering river, asymmetrical composition and gold ground are all signature stylistic means of the Rimpa school, with its attempts to revive the best of the Yamato-e tradition. This bold, half-abstract decoration brings our focus to the design based on contrasts - dark river and bring gold, simple background and details of fans. The fans are decorated with Kiku (chrysanthemums), evocative of autumn. The flowers have been further highlighted using a technique called moorage - slightly raised relief obtained by painting with go fun, a paste of glue mixed with powder from baked and ground shells. Thanks to this suggestive volume, the flowers appear to 'pop out' of the painting.

W 3720mm H 1710mm

Ref: WEB835 (7J101)

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Eiho Hirezaki (1881-1968) Signature and seal: Eiho Hirezaki Two-panel folding screen paper, ink, and watercolours Beauties have always been a favoured subject of painters the world over, not only the Japanese.This quite beauty portrait is typical work by Eiho, known for his woodblock prints of bijin - young girls and geishas. The artist's life was stretched over three eras: Meiji, Taisho and Showa. This was not an easy period for geishas: from trendsetters and fashion stars, they had to transform into guardians of the traditional arts. Eiho's specialty were kuchi-e (lit. mouth pictures), woodblock prints inserted into the front (kuchi) of a magazine. The girl's hair does bring the woodblock printing technique to mind: it is realistically painted, with few layers creating the effect of shining black lacquer, or real hair. The details of the face are also depicted with tender care. of a "Seated Beauty" , painted on paper. Signed and seal mark of Eiho Hirezaki (1881-1968)

W 1720mm H 1710mm

Ref: WEB838

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Six panel folding screen paper, ink, and watercolours Kacho-ga - birds and flowers. - popular subject in both Japan and China. Here sparrow, wagtails and wild quails are depicted in a misty gold landscape, among bamboo, chrysanthemums, morning glory, and other flowers and plants. The mixture of flora from different seasons is not unusual, and it reflects the transient passage of time. This early screen is a good example of the use of square hold leaf in the background. In later screens, the squares grow larger and are more regular. When depicting the hazy clouds, the artist used sunago (sprinkled gold) to obtain a dreamy and misty effect. Most popular forms of byobu are two-and six-fold screen, the latter more often that not produced in pairs. They were referred to as isso, one pair, treated as an identity. This screen probably had another one to match to its right, where the composition would continue with the following seasons. Only a large castle interior would be able to accommodate paintings of this size, each usually approximately 3.5 m long. From the early 20th century onwards, two-fold screens increased in popularity as the size of living quarters in modern day Japan decreased.

W 3780mm H 960mm

Ref: WEB839 (3693)

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Japanese folded four panels screen embroidered with cherry blossom tree and birds. Fitted in original box

W 1940mm H 1130mm

Ref: WEB955 (5209)

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Edo Period: 19th century

Ink colour on paper

H:182cm L:376cm

A 6 panel screen depicting two flower carts on a gold fuki background (5487).



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By Kawabata Gyokusho (1842-1913)

H:169.5cm W:348cm

Sumi on gold siphon silk

19th century


One screen depicts a waterfall flowing down to a serene lake, the other depicts a small villae within a valley by Kawabata Gyokusho a Kyoto artist born to a family of lacquer artists. First studied the Maruyama style with Nakajima Raisho. In 1866 left Kyoto for Tokyo to study Western painting under Charles Wirgman. However soon returned to Japanese style of painting and became leading figure in Tokyo art circles and in 1890 professor in charge of the painting division espousing the Shijo school at the Tokyo school of Fine Arts. In his later years he sought to combine Chinese, Japanese and Western elements in his painting. His work is delicate, making use of a Japanese technique in a realistic manner (5489). 


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4 panel screen depicting sparrows in flight amongst cherry blossom tree.

Edo Period 18th century

H:135cm W: 276cm




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2 panel Ike no taiga calligraphy screen

H:166 W:158cm



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2 panel screen depicting Chinese boys playing

Edo Period 18th century

H:173cm W: 91cm


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