Fri, 3rd Dec 2021 13:00

Fine Japanese Art

 
Lot 303
 

303

WATANABE SHOTEI (1851-1918): A SUPERB SCROLL PAINTING OF LUNAR HARE, EX-COLLECTION KENZO TAKADA

By Watanabe Shotei (Watanabe Seitei, 1851-1918), signed Meiji kinoe-inu chogetsu, Shotei sanjin and signed sealed Kenden Han’in and Shotei
Japan, dated 1874

Superbly painted with ink and watercolors on silk and mounted as a hanging scroll with a fine silk brocade frame. The white rabbit is shown prancing across turbulent waves crashing against rocks, the water being an allusion to the full moon as one can often see its reflection in it. The subject may also be referencing the White Hare of Inaba (Inaba no Shiro Usagi), where a white rabbit tricks a group of sharks to cross the sea.

Signed and inscribed to the lower right with two seals: 明治甲戌暢月、省亭散人 “Meiji kinoe-inu chogetsu, Shotei sanjin”
[Painted by Shotei, 11th month of Meiji 7 (1874)].
The Seals: 研田半隠 & 省亭 “Kenden Han’in” and “Shotei”.

SIZE (image) 115 x 40 cm, 141 x 53 cm (including mounting) and 154 x 68 cm (including frame)

Condition: The image in superb condition with hardly any wear. The mounting has been trimmed at the top and bottom in order to place it in the frame.
Provenance: Ex-collection Kenzo Takada (1939-2020).

Kenzo Takada (1939-2020) was an iconic Japanese fashion designer living in France. He founded Kenzo, a worldwide brand of perfumes, skincare products, and clothes, and was the honorary president of the Asian Couture Federation. Takada was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor on 2 June 2016. For decades, Kenzo Takada had built an impressive and diverse collection of furniture, paintings, objects, works of art and fashion pieces, including many objects of fine Japanese art, displaying in his home a subtle balance between the influences of East and West, reflecting the free spirit of this creative genius.

The three lots from Kenzo Takada’s collection in this sale (lots 25, 293 & 303) were all objects he lived with in his apartment, overlooking the whole of Paris, for the last 15 years of his life, after his retirement.

Watanabe Shotei (Watanabe Seitei, 1851-1918) was a Nihonga painter and one of the first to visit Europe, attending the 1878 International Exhibition in Paris and being awarded a medal. Shotei blended Western realism with the delicate colors and washes of the Kikuchi Yosai school, introducing a new approach to kachoga (bird-and-flower painting). On his return from Europe, Seitei created designs for ceramics and cloisonné, working with the cloisonné artist Namikawa Sosuke (1847–1910), leading to acclaim from abroad.

Literature comparison:
A similar painting of a lunar hare by Watanabe Shotei is in the collection of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, accession no. 1993.44.

Starting price
€3,000
Estimate
€6,000
 

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By Watanabe Shotei (Watanabe Seitei, 1851-1918), signed Meiji kinoe-inu chogetsu, Shotei sanjin and signed sealed Kenden Han’in and Shotei
Japan, dated 1874

Superbly painted with ink and watercolors on silk and mounted as a hanging scroll with a fine silk brocade frame. The white rabbit is shown prancing across turbulent waves crashing against rocks, the water being an allusion to the full moon as one can often see its reflection in it. The subject may also be referencing the White Hare of Inaba (Inaba no Shiro Usagi), where a white rabbit tricks a group of sharks to cross the sea.

Signed and inscribed to the lower right with two seals: 明治甲戌暢月、省亭散人 “Meiji kinoe-inu chogetsu, Shotei sanjin”
[Painted by Shotei, 11th month of Meiji 7 (1874)].
The Seals: 研田半隠 & 省亭 “Kenden Han’in” and “Shotei”.

SIZE (image) 115 x 40 cm, 141 x 53 cm (including mounting) and 154 x 68 cm (including frame)

Condition: The image in superb condition with hardly any wear. The mounting has been trimmed at the top and bottom in order to place it in the frame.
Provenance: Ex-collection Kenzo Takada (1939-2020).

Kenzo Takada (1939-2020) was an iconic Japanese fashion designer living in France. He founded Kenzo, a worldwide brand of perfumes, skincare products, and clothes, and was the honorary president of the Asian Couture Federation. Takada was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor on 2 June 2016. For decades, Kenzo Takada had built an impressive and diverse collection of furniture, paintings, objects, works of art and fashion pieces, including many objects of fine Japanese art, displaying in his home a subtle balance between the influences of East and West, reflecting the free spirit of this creative genius.

The three lots from Kenzo Takada’s collection in this sale (lots 25, 293 & 303) were all objects he lived with in his apartment, overlooking the whole of Paris, for the last 15 years of his life, after his retirement.

Watanabe Shotei (Watanabe Seitei, 1851-1918) was a Nihonga painter and one of the first to visit Europe, attending the 1878 International Exhibition in Paris and being awarded a medal. Shotei blended Western realism with the delicate colors and washes of the Kikuchi Yosai school, introducing a new approach to kachoga (bird-and-flower painting). On his return from Europe, Seitei created designs for ceramics and cloisonné, working with the cloisonné artist Namikawa Sosuke (1847–1910), leading to acclaim from abroad.

Literature comparison:
A similar painting of a lunar hare by Watanabe Shotei is in the collection of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, accession no. 1993.44.

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Auction: Fine Japanese Art, Fri, 3rd Dec 2021

We're honored to present our latest catalog of Fine Japanese Art, comprising 309 lots. Highlights include three lots formerly in the collection of the late iconic fashion designer Kenzo Takada (lots 25, 293 & 303) and Important Buddhist Art from the Coppenrath collection (lots 117-123). The true sale highlight, however, is lot 87 – the extremely rare and highly important set of three emaki scroll paintings, measuring a total length of 55 m, and depicting the Gosannen war. This set would be a true highlight in any museum. We hope you enjoy browsing through our selection and are as always available for any enquiries you may have!

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