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Kawasemi shaga nadeshiko 翡翠 鳶尾草 瞿麦 (Kingfisher, fringed iris, dianthus)

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1910,0614,0.28

  • Title (object)

    • Kawasemi shaga nadeshiko 翡翠 鳶尾草 瞿麦 (Kingfisher, fringed iris, dianthus)
  • Description

    Woodblock print. Kachoga. Birds and flowers, kingfisher, iris and pinks, with Chinese poem.

  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1834 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 25.3 centimetres
    • Width: 18.6 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Kawasemi shaga nadeshiko
      • Inscription Comment

        item title
      • Inscription Type

        signature
      • Inscription Content

        前北斎為一筆
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Saki no Hokusai Iitsu hitsu
      • Inscription Translation

        From the brush of Iitsu, the former Hokusai
      • Inscription Type

        mark
      • Inscription Comment

        seal(publisher's.Eijudo)
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Content

        回顧生碧色 動揺揚縹青 
      • Inscription Translation

        I glance back to see the water generating emerald greens, / the rippling current producing pale blues.
      • Inscription Comment

        Two lines from a Chinese poem on the kingfisher by the Later Han dynasty Confucian scholar and calligrapher Cai Yong 蔡邕 (ad 132/133–192). The poem appears in the fourteen-volume collection, Gu shi yuan (in Japanese, Koshigen; A Fountain of Ancient Poetry, 1719).
  • Curator's comments

    Clark 2017

    A beautiful bird known also as the ‘flying jewel’ (tobu
    hōseki), the kingfisher has been depicted in paintings
    and the decorative arts since ancient times. Hokusai
    illustrated the bird in both volume 3 of Hokusai’s
    Sketches (Hokusai manga, 1815), and Santai gafu (about
    1816). Fringed iris (shaga) have serrated petals,
    complicated patterning and, as here, a brilliant
    appearance. They also feature in Hokusai’s Drawings for
    a three-volume picture book (about 1823–1835, cats 30, 168),
    and the later books Manji-ō sōhitsu gafu (1843) and Essence
    of Colouring (1848, cat. 211). Chinese dianthus (karanadeshiko)
    appears in both Hokusai’s book Ryōbi shahitsu
    (1820) and cat. 00. Here, the fringed iris’s sinuous stems
    combine with the kingfisher’s twisting body to create
    an appealing composition. Inscribed top right are two
    lines from a Chinese poem on the kingfisher by the
    Later Han dynasty Confucian scholar and calligrapher
    Cai Yong (ad 132/133–192): ‘I look back to see the
    water generating emerald greens, / the rippling current
    producing pale blues.’ The poem appears in the
    fourteen-volume collection, Gu shi yuan (Japanese
    Koshigen, A Fountain of Ancient Poetry, 1719).

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Binyon 1916 176 bibliographic details
    • Keyes & Morse 2015 895 bibliographic details
    • Clark 2017 97 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1910

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1910,0614,0.28

  • Additional IDs

    • B176

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Object reference number: JCF4802

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