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Archive: Tôkyo (東居)

Description:
Rakusai Arashiyama (洛西嵐山) from the series Miyako hyakkei (100 views of the Capital: 都百景)
Signature:
Tokyo ga (東居画)
Seals:
Artist's seal: Tôkyo
Publisher:
Ishiwa han (石和板) = Ishiwaya Wasuke (石川屋和助)
Date:
1860
Format:
(H x W)
Chûban nishiki-e
25.5 x 18.7 cm
Impression:
Excellent
Condition:
Excellent color and overall very good condition (unbacked; small creases and paper flaws, mostly in margins, very slight soil in water above and to the right of artist/publisher cartouches, small pale pink pigment transfer in lower right margin)
Price (USD/¥):
SOLD

Inquiry: TKY02

Comments:
Background

Tôkyo (東居 or 東挙), 1828-1869, was a (art name: 號) used by Umegawa Tôkyo (梅川東居 or 東挙). He lived and worked in Kyoto, producing nihonga (Japanese-style painting: 日本画) as well as landscape and figure prints in the ukiyo-e style. His paintings show the influence of the Maruyama school. Tôkyo's students included Nomura Bunkyo (野村文挙, 1854-1911) and Imao Keinen (今尾景年, 1845-1924).

Rakusai is the western province of Kyoto where Arashiyama (Storm Mountain: 嵐山) crosses the Ôi River, a nationally designated historic site (shiseki: 史跡) and place of scenic beauty (meishô: 名勝).

Design

Here we see boatmen working along the Ôi-gawa; one in the foreground is moving logs, while the other navigates a small pleasure or sightseeing boat. It is a beautiful spring day with abundant flowering of cherry blossoms marking the season. A dramatic rendering of trees angling over the river introduces an effective depth of field and a strong counterpoise to the more upright forms of the bridge struts, making this design more than a simple view of a charming scene.

Although examples from the series Miyako hyakkei (100 views of the Capital: 都百景) can be found in a few institutional collections, opportunities for acquisition are relatively rare.

References: Roberts, A Dictionary of Japanese Artists, p. 181; Mitchell, Illustrated Books of the Nanga, Maruyama, Shijô, and Other Related Schools of Japan, p. 190.