View full screen - View 1 of Lot 29. KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI (1760-1849)  POEM BY ABE NO NAKAMARO | EDO PERIOD, 19TH CENTURY.
29

KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI (1760-1849) POEM BY ABE NO NAKAMARO | EDO PERIOD, 19TH CENTURY

VAT reduced rateUK: Greenford Park Warehouse

Estimate:

6,000 - 8,000 GBP

KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI (1760-1849) POEM BY ABE NO NAKAMARO | EDO PERIOD, 19TH CENTURY

KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI (1760-1849) POEM BY ABE NO NAKAMARO | EDO PERIOD, 19TH CENTURY

Estimate:

6,000 - 8,000 GBP

Lot sold:

6,048

GBP

KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI (1760-1849)

EDO PERIOD, 19TH CENTURY

POEM BY ABE NO NAKAMARO


woodblock print, from the series The Hundred Poems [By the Hundred Poets] as Told by the Nurse (Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki), signed zen Hokusai manji, published by Iseya Sanjiro (Eijudo), and censor's seal kiwame, circa 1835-36

Horizontal oban:

25.2 x 37.4 cm, 10 x 14¾ in.


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Good impression and colour, slight toning, slight trimming to right-hand edge, tape reside to verso, red Sakai seal


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

S. Nagata, Hokusai Museum (Hokusai Bijutsukan): Tales (Monogatari-e), vol. 5, 2nd ed. (Tokyo, 1990), plate 135

The Japan Ukiyo-e Academy, Hokusai serial catalogue, Daimaru Museum, Tokyo, 29 December-11 January, exhib. cat. (Matsumoto, 1992), plate 80 

W. Crothers, T. Kobayashi and J. Berndt, Hokusai, NGV International, Melbourne, 21 July- 15 October 2017, exhib. cat. (Melbourne, 2017)

Hokusai, National Gallery of Victoria International, Melbourne, 21 July - 15 October 2017

For his last single sheet series of woodblock prints, One Hundred Poems Explained by the Nurse (Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki), Katshushika Hokusai looked to an anthology of well-known poems, entitled Hyakunin Isshu (A Hundred Poems by a Hundred Poets), as his source. These poems, based on love and melancholy, were assembled by the thirteenth-century poet Fujiawara no Teika. Hokusai chose to visually recount the poems from the perspective of a fictional elderly nurse. Together with sixty-four preparatory drawings, twenty-seven published prints are known, each exhibiting bold colour and including a cartouche enclosing the relevant verse. The series was commissioned by the publisher Nishimura Yohachi and his firm Eijudo successfully issued five prints before closing down; the additional twenty-two prints were then published by Iseya Sanjiro’s firm Iseri, with the original Eijudo seal continuing to be employed.


The poem in this print is by Abe no Nakamaro (710-790), who travelled to Japan as a boy to reveal the secrets of the Chinese calendar. On discovering his intentions, the Emperor of China had him arrested. In this poem, Nakamaro dwells on the serene of his homeland.


Ama-no-hara

Furi-sake mireba

Kasuga naru

Mikasa no yama ni

Ideshi tsuki ka mo


When I look abroad

O'er the wide-stretched 'Plain of Heaven'

Is the moon the same

That on Mount Mikasa rose,

In the land of Kasuga?”.


Abe no Nakamaro stands upon a hilltop at the centre of the composition. Clothed in an elegant robe, he is flanked by two kneeling soldiers, who respectfully wait for him to finish his verse. The poet longingly looks out towards his homeland, and gazes at the moon, whose serene reflection Hokusai cleverly depicted in the water, its beautiful whiteness standing out against the surrounding blue hues.


For a similar impression in The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, see accession no. 11.17664