KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI (1760-1849) POEM BY BUNYA NO ASAYASU (FUMIYA NO ASAYASU) | EDO PERIOD, 19TH CENTURY
8,000 - 10,000 GBP
KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI (1760-1849)
EDO PERIOD, 19TH CENTURY
POEM BY BUNYA NO ASAYASU (FUMIYA NO ASAYASU)
woodblock print, from the series The Hundred Poems [By the Hundred Poets] as Told by the Nurse (Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki), signed saki no Hokusai manji, no publisher’s seal, published by Iseya Sanjiro, circa 1835-36
25.9 x 37 cm, 10¼ x 14⅝ in.
To view Shipping Calculator, please click here
Good impression and colour, slight toning, slight nicks to edges, small restorations to the sky, tape residue 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.
Timothy Clark, Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave (London: British Museum, 2017), n. 140
S. Nagata, Hokusai Museum(Hokusai Bijutsukan): Tales (Monogatari-e), vol. 5, 2nd ed.(Tokyo: Shueisha, 1990), plate 148
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.
This poem is by Bunya no Asayasu (translation by Joshua Mostow):
kaze no fuki-shiku
aki no ta wa
tama zo chirikeru
In the autumn fields
where the wind blows repeatedly
on the white dewdrops,
the gems, not strung together,
do scatter about indeed.
A boat stretches across the width of the lower-half of the composition and is the focus of the print, with the upper half being made up predominantly of an empty expanse of sky. After enjoying an outing out on the lotus-filled waters collecting lotus leaves, five court page-boys endeavour to navigate their way out of a rocky enclosure as a blustery gale develops, blowing through the trees on the nearby headland. Three of the boys attempt to push the boat out using poles, which risk becoming entwined, while the other two desperately try to ensure that the leaves do not fly away.
For another impression at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, see accession no. JP2938