- Museum number
Painting, album. Scrapbook of miscellaneous preparatory sketches for gokan; containing forty-four two-page spreads each pasted with small, irregularly shaped pieces of paper bearing figure subjects cut from larger sheets. Ink on paper. Signed.
- Production date
- 1837-1854 (ca.)
Height: 33.20 centimetres
Width: 33.30 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Hizo Nihon bijutsu taikan Vol 3
This album is a kind of scrapbook containing forty-four two-page spreads each pasted with small, irregularly shaped pieces of paper bearing figure subjects cut from larger sheets. The generally animated, confident draftsmanship confirms that these are indeed the preliminary drawings of the artist and not copies made after publication by pupils or imitators.
It was the practice of Takizawa Bakin and other 'gokan' authors to provide artists with detailed "mock-up" volumes ('kohon') in which they sketched-in the rough arrangement of figures they wanted on each page. Thus the artist's contribution was not to create compositions, but simply to draw more accomplished figures to fit into the author's draft. It seems likely that the figures in the British Museum album drawings served precisely this function. Kunisada simply drew neat versions of the main figures to slot into each page, probably leaving details of the background accessories and settings to be filled in on the "block copy" ('hanshita') by pupils and assistants at a later stage.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Asia painting number: Jap.Ptg.Add.621 (Japanese Painting Additional Number)