Do you know a man named KAWANABE KYOSAI?
“The late Edo to Meiji period painter Kawanabe Kyosai（1831-1889）loved to draw from infancy.
He is said to have made sketches of a captured frog at the age of three.
At the age of seven he began studying under the ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi（1798 – 1861）, and at under the Surugadai Kano school, finishing his studies at the young age of 19.
He went to study on his own such traditional Japanese painting styles as those of the Tosa and Maruyama-Shijo schools, while also learning ukiyo-e and Western painting methods.
Kyosai was so immersed in drawing that he earned the nickname “Ga-ki”, literally painting demon.
As the Edo shogunate collapsed and society became embroiled in massive upheaval, he turned to depicting current events with his inimitable painting prowess and rebellious spirit.”
“Josiah Conder（1852 – 1920）, the English architect who built the Rokumeikan, became one of his students and was granted the art name Kyoei.
Kyosai was the first Japanese person to have his obituary printed in an overseas journal, the french newspaper Le Figaro.
These episodes and others show how highly regarded Kyosai was at the time in both Japan and elsewhere.
Today, Kyosai’s work and his life as an artist continue to fascinate people worldwide.”
I was struck by his sumie!
“In 1881, the Second Domestic Industrial Exposition was held ; for the first time since his imprisonment, Kyosai was invited to take part and showed four paintings, including “Crow on a withered branch.
He set the price of the crow at 100yen.
When the exhibition committee said that 100yen was too expensive for a crow, Kyosai replied that it was not the price of crow but of his 50years of work.
When the confectioner Eitaro offered 100yen, both exhibition committee and Kyosai himself were much surprised.
Kyosai tried to return the money, but Eitaro insisted on the purchase.
Eitaro’s shop still has the painting of the crow.
This crow was awarded the second prize（there was no first prize winner）”.
- – For reference, 1yen at that time seems to be equivalent to about 20,000yen at present.
- That means 100yen is 2million yen, and in dollars it is about 20,000 dollars.
- Wooow!!!, It surely we can’t say it is cheap, but I thought that he said is a very convincing statement for the artist and want to say that like him someday. So I have to study more and more.-
“Above these sentences are excerpted from the catalogue of the works presented on the exhibition “This is Kyosai!” in 2017 at Tokyo.”
STUDY by COPYING
I copied his other crow and fish what I love for studying. How does it look?
- A funny thing happened to me!!!
- While I was drawing a crow, he started sing! lol.
YOU CAN meet KYOSAI
If you want to hit his work when you come to Japan.
You can always see his paintings at Kawanabe Kyosai Memorial Museum in Saitama.
This museum run by his descendants.
His work is always on display at this museum.
KYOSAI is also the one and only genius painter born in Japan.
Please check him out when you come to Japan.
Thanks for stopping by.
As always, have a great day!