2012: Cherry Blossom
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 artist's career, which led him to work especially in Kyoto in the late eighteenth century, a city that was then the crucible for many pictorial experiments that this painting carries some reminiscences (it seems that we can there to detect traces of research by precursors, especially so-called eccentric painters, such as Nagasawa Rosetsu, also inspired in some of Kano Eitoku's compositions, but also more distantly, in the work on color, by Rimpa school painters).
- the intrinsic quality of the work, which imposes itself by the mastery, originality and beauty of its composition; if the principle of the truncated representation of trees was in fact exploited at the end of the sixteenth century by the great painter Kano Eitoku, on the scale of large screens or sliding partitions, it is transposed here in the smaller, narrower format , a large kakemono. This even narrower focus on the motif, which occupies most of the pictorial surface and is projected close to the viewer, gives energy and modernity to this painting, which only dates from the early 19th century. The cherry blossom theme is a popular pictorial theme in Japan since the earliest times, around which many literary and symbolic associations have developed; it is in this largely reinterpreted painting, inhabited by a dramatic tension due to the very daring composition, prefiguring almost the Edo views conceived in the mid-nineteenth century by Hiroshige (who privilege in the series of 1858 the highlighting of a single motif in close-up, partially obliterating the pictorial surface completely redesigned).
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 contours, by wash that subtly suggest on the trunk of the cherry volumes and light shadows.
Finally the painting was kept in perfect condition (as well as the very beautiful montage).