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- Zakuro ni Budou (Pomegranates and Grapes) -

Kiyochika Kobayashi


This extremely rare woodblock print, 'Zakuro ni Budou' (Pomegranates and Grapes), is by Kiyochika Kobayashi (1847–1915). The print beautifully depicts pomegranates and grapes arranged on a small table. Many Japanese painters of that time created works influenced by Western still-life paintings, driven by their admiration for Western art and their exploration of techniques. Specifically, various artists focused on expressing the torn fruit and the play of light in the pomegranate motif.

Kiyochika Kobayashi's print illuminates pomegranates and grapes with a play of light and shadow, showcasing splendid technique. It was printed during the Meiji era (1879-1881). The artist's signature is located in the lower right, and the publisher is Heikichi Matsuki.

This print is held in the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; the Tokyo National Museum; the Minneapolis Institute of Art; and the National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Technique: Woodblock
Paper size: 15 x 10 inches (38 x 25.5 cm)
Image size: 14 and 5/8 x 9 and 5/8 inches (37.2 x 24.5 cm)
Sheet number: N/A
Date: 1879-1881

Condition: Overall, it is in good condition for its age. This woodblock print was framed for an extended period, resulting in slight mat lines visible on the left side and top. As depicted in the picture, there is minor damage to the top margin corners, a couple of slight stains within the image, and minor paper creases in the corners. Additionally, there are minor paper scuffs on the edge of the verso (once tipped to the Japanese paper). However, considering its age, the print remains in overall good condition. Please see the pictures.


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