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.

Price: EUR 7,500

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.


Since the majority of painters from the mid-Edo period were not able to observe real tigers, they used to study common house cats for their lifelike paintings. In this work too, we get a really good impression how the painter draw inspiration from these domesticated animals. Kōkei caught an intimate moment of a resting cat that is observing the painter with highly ambiguous gaze. In his excellent brushwork, he masterfully expressed the typical characteristics of the moody animal.


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