Yoshimura Kōkei (1769-1836)

Resting Tiger

Inv. Nr. #20.003
Date Edo period, early 19th Century
Material Ink on silk
Dimensions H 109 x W 44,5 cm (23 x 32 cm)

Comes with fitted wooden box.

Fine ink painting of a tiger by Yoshimura Kōkei (1769-1836). Kōkei, son of Yoshimura Ranshū (1739-1816), was one of Maruyama Ōkyo's famous ten pupils and worked for Kyōto's Nishi Hongan-ji temple, which has commissioned some large screen paintings. Kōkei gained some recognition in his time and his work was therefor included in several contemporary painting anthologies like the Bijin Awase 1809 and the Kakusei Chō in 1828. Praised as a master of flower-bird painting (kachō-ga), he was also versed in rendering other images popular in his time, such as tigers.

 

Like all painters in the mid-Edo period, Kōkei too was not able to watch a real tiger in his life and so he draw much of his inspiration for painting these large animals by observing common house cats. In this painting, Kōkei caught a more intimate moment of a resting cat, who is observing the painter with a highly ambiguous gaze. In his excellent brushwork, he masterfully expressed the typical characteristics of these moody animals.

 

The painting is signed 'Kōkei' in informal script followed by the artist's seal.