Japan Art and Birds: Two Kingfishers and a Warbler

Japan Art and Birds: Two Kingfishers and a Warbler

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The highly acclaimed Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858) was born during the Edo Period. However, Hiroshige inspired many European artists after his death. These artists include Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Mstislav Valerianovich Dobuzhinsky (1875-1957), Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Van Gogh (1853-90), Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), Édouard Manet (1832-1883), Claude Monet (1840-1926), and many other esteemed artists.

In the delightful print above, Hiroshige creates a stunning print of a warbler on a plum branch. The simplicity of the print works amazingly concerning the warbler and the flowering angle of the plum tree.

The second stunning art piece is by Matsubayashi Keigetsu (1876-1963). He is famous for his Nanga (Chinese-influenced art) art in a comparatively decorative style. Hence, he delved deeply into the artistic and literati world of China and Japan throughout his life.

Bonhams says, “Considered one of the foremost Nanga school artists of the 20th century, Keigetsu exhibited at both the Bunten and after the Pacific War at the Nitten. He was a member of the Art Committee of the Imperial Household, and was honored with the Order of Cultural Merit in 1959. His paintings are in the collections of the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art and the Tokyo National Museum.”

Dōmoto Inshō (1891-1975) created astonishing art throughout various stages of his life. He also taught many artists, including Imoto Tekiho. Accordingly, the art above – completed in the early Showa Period – highlights his rich skills.

The British Museum says, “Domoto designed only a few prints but is remembered as an innovative ‘Nihonga’ painter in the Kyoto tradition. He was born in Kyoto… He graduated in 1910 from the Kyoto Shiritsu Bijutsu Kogei Gakko (Kyoto City School of Fine Arts and Crafts). He initially did design work for Mitsukoshi Department Store and for the silk textile firm Tatsumura Heizo. He then entered the Kyoto Shiritsu Kaiga Sen-mon Gakko (Kyoto City Specialist School of Painting), finally graduating after research studies in 1924. Meanwhile he was actively painting and became a pupil of the ‘Nihonga’ artist Nishiyama Suisho (1879-1958)…”

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