2012: Cherry Blossom
In 2012: Cherry Blossom. Okimono, Ink and Color on paper. Signed and dated 1803- Oda Shitsuhitsu (1779-1832), MC 2012-1
The work presented here is remarkable in many ways, in particular:
- the almost emblematic status of its author: one of the few women painters of the time, issued from a famous family feudal lords (such is the origin, although often less prestigious, of many painters of the literate current or even ukiyo-e in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries). Few institutions own works by this artist, absent from European public collections.
- the career of the artist, which led him to work in particular in Kyoto at the end of the XNUMXth century, a city which was then the crucible of many pictorial experiments of which this painting bears certain reminiscences (it seems that we can to detect traces of research by precursors, in particular by so-called eccentric painters, such as Nagasawa Rosetsu, also inspired in certain compositions by Kano Eitoku; but also more distantly, in the work on color, by painters from the Rimpa school).
- the intrinsic quality of the work, which stands out through the mastery, originality and beauty of its composition; if the principle of the truncated representation of trees was in fact exploited from the end of the 1858th century by the great painter Kanô Eitoku, on the scale of large screens or sliding partitions, it is transposed here in the smaller, narrow format , of a large kakemono. This even narrower focus on the motif, which occupies most of the pictorial surface and is projected in close-up towards the viewer, gives energy and modernity to this painting which, however, dates only from the beginning of the XNUMXth century. The theme of the cherry tree in blossom has been a very popular pictorial theme in Japan since ancient times, around which many literary and symbolic associations have developed; he is amply revisited in this painting, inhabited by a dramatic tension due to the very daring composition, almost foreshadowing the views of Edo conceived in the middle of the XNUMXth century by Hiroshige (which in the XNUMX series favored the highlighting of a single motif in close-up, partly obliterating the completely redesigned pictorial surface).
Among the great pictorial movements developed in Kyoto towards the end of the eighteenth century, besides the possible influence of painters such as Nagasawa Rosetsu, we can also mention the work of Maruyama Okyo, who also devoted himself in the last third of the eighteenth century to depicting, On the scale of large screens or kakemonos, pines whose gnarled trunks, or bypassed, seen in close-ups, often escape the frame of the composition.
- the coloring, without outlines, by washes which subtly suggest volumes and light shadows on the trunk of the cherry tree.
Finally the painting was kept in perfect condition (as well as the very beautiful montage).