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Reading Books - Keisai  Eisen prints

Reading Books

By Keisai Eisen

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Reading Books - Keisai  Eisen print

Keisai Eisen

Contact Scholten Japanese Art about Reading Books By Keisai Eisen

Date: 1823

Medium: woodcut/woodblock/ukiyo-e, woodblock

Edition size: n/a

Sheet size: 39 by 26.3 cm

Condition: excellent

Signature: signed

Price: $8000 (excl. taxes)


From the series "Eight Favorite Things in the Modern World,"
a beauty with a Pekingese dog on her shoulder and holding a folded letter, with a stack of books at the upper left corner; signed Keisai Eisen ga with artist's seal Sen, censor's seal Kiwame and publisher's seal Senichi (Izumiya Ichibei of Kansendo), ca. 1823

oban tate-e 15 3/8 by 10 3/8 in., 39 by 26.3 cm

The pile of books in the upper left corner presents an opportunity for the artist to promote his work illustrating books. The closed book on top of the pile is titled Kaido chazuke, an abbreviation of the full title Kaido chazuke hara no uchimaku, published in 1823, written by Tori Sanjin (Hana Sanjin, 1790-1858) and illustrated by Eisen. Beneath it is a book open with the title along the right edge, Nanso Satomi Hakkenden (The Eight Dog Chronicles), an epic tale by Kyokutei Bakin (1767-1848) comprised of 106 volumes which were published over a period of 28 years, the first in 1814 and the last in 1842. The stories revolve around eight samurai who are half-brothers, all descendants of a dog and each with the word 'dog' in their names. Most of the volumes were illustrated by Yanagawa Shigenobu (1787-1832), with contributions from Eisen begining in 1823. For illustrations by Eisen from volume five published in 1823 see the Chiba City exhibition catalogue noted below.

Richard Lane, Images from the Floating World, 1978, p. 219, no. 27
Chiba City Museum of Art, Keisai Eisen: Artist of the Floating World, 2012, p. 69, pl. 42 (print) and p. 260, pl. 337 (Hyakkenden ehon)

Collected and Cherished, Japanese Art in Dutch Private Collections 1600-1900, Society for Japanese Art, Westfries Museum in Hoorn, The Netherlands, September 2nd - October 22nd 2000

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