Re: Artist?

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Posted by Kurt ( on December 23, 2015 at 05:06:55:

In Reply to: Artist? posted by David on December 21, 2015 at 15:41:48:

Hi David

Just adding to Olaf's reply... you may find it of interest:
your two sheets show the Second Battle of Kawanakajima along the banks of the Sai River. They are the left and centre sheets of an UNTITLED TRIPTYCH; you are missing the RHS sheet. That said, the sheets actually form part of a larger HEXAPTYCH and it is presumably on one of these sheets that a title can be derived.

The Museum of Fine Arts Boston has four panels (including the two you have) listed as part of a larger hexaptych with the name: 'The Two Armies Confront Each Other at Kawanakajima' (甲越両軍対峙之図), 1847–1852 (Kôka 4–Kaei 5). Signed: Gyokuransai Sadahide ga 玉蘭斎貞秀画 (on right sheet), Gyokuran Sadahide ga 玉蘭貞秀画 (on other sheets). Publisher: Hamadaya Tokubei. Censors' seals: Muramatsu, Yoshimura (on three sheets); Mera, Watanabe (on left sheet). Accession number: 11.37434a-d. Check it out online: it's a terrific image.

I can only assume the title of the hexaptych 甲越両軍対峙之圖 (甲越両軍対峙之図) is found on one of the two panels that are not in the MFA collection (the MFA does link to a website with the hexapytch, but it is no longer active... perhaps someone has a visual reference somewhere, anyone?). However, these kanji provided by the MFA make no specific reference to Kawanakajima (as the MFA suggests it does) even though it is the subject of the print. The title might be more appropriately (though not definitively) translated as 'Picture of the Kai and Echigo Armies Confronting Each Other' (Kōetsu ryōgun taiji no zu). Further, the reference to the fourth sheet having Mera (Mera Ta-ichiro) and Watanabe (Watanabe Shoemon) nanushi censor seals suggests the LHS triptych of the 'hexaptych' was printed during 1851–1853, a few years later than the RHS printed 1847–1848 (which you have examples of). The MFA has its dates for the 4 panels as 1847–1852, so perhaps Olaf can correct me here if I have the Mera/Watanabe dates incorrect.

Anyway, I would err on titling the work:
Untitled [Picture of the Kai and Echigo Armies Confronting Each Other (Kōetsu ryōgun taiji no zu)]
甲越両軍対峙之圖 (甲越両軍対峙之図)

cheers, Kurt

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