Re: Help identifying the piece?


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Posted by Alec W. (174.105.163.103) on April 01, 2021 at 21:21:06:

In Reply to: Re: Help identifying the piece? posted by DavidK on April 01, 2021 at 20:16:17:

A few thoughts...

First, there isn't a signature on this piece. The writing in the upper right is a descriptive title, which I believe reads "Ahiru no zu" 家鴨の図 (something like "View of Domesticated Ducks").

As to the identity of "Seiko", I'm not sure. I have seen some scant references to a son of Kōno Bairei named Seiko, though I'm not sure what kanji were used by that Seiko, or if that Seiko was even an artist.

I can find plenty of prints signed 「静湖」 attributed to Okuhara Seiko, such as at MFA Boston, which is generally an extremely reliable source of information:

https://collections.mfa.org/objects/328886

Here's another intriguing suggestion -- that "Seiko" was an "imaginary artist created by a publisher to avoid copyright and sell pictures by other artists":

http://readercollection.com/Guides-html-files/Guide%20Chapter%204%20Artists%20M-Z%201.html

I'm not sure what to make of that claim, but it would seem to indicate that there was at least some usage of the signature in a purposefully misleading way -- certainly one can find plenty of fraudulent "Hiroshige" prints from the early 20th century.

-A


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