Kunisada III a
Kunisada III bKunisada III dKunisada III cKunisada III fKunisada III eKunisada III gKunisada III h

Utagawa Kunisada III – 歌川国貞 – (1848–1920) – Bodhidharma – 菩提達磨

$25,000.00 CAD

This is a rare original by a master of the Utagawa School, who was usually busy with Ukiyo-e. Kunisada III had to spend a lot of time at the Kabuki Theatre, backstage, sketching actors and preparing what would have to quickly become available for sale to the theatre-going public. A painting like this one would have been a fine opportunity for him to show his incredible talent with a brush. The hirsute Bodhidharma is rendered as such that it shows his style more clearly than many of the woodblock prints could -especially where the painting of hair is concerned and the absolute uniqueness of the composition. Here, the never-sleeping Bodhidharma seems to be looking forward towards the future of Japanese aesthetics as brought to a pinnacle by Matsuo Bashō, who named himself after the bashō (banana tree) like the one that Bodhidharma is staring at. The ancient symbolism of the tree is also fitting. It is a zen reminder of the transient nature of life because the leaves eventually turn black and fall to the ground. -And so all things must pass. The honshi (main painted area) is in very good condition with some normal ageing and toning. There is stain and general age and wear to the mounting, however the blend of silk and cotton is so organic and lovely that one would be tempted to leave it as is. Signed “Baido”. Kunisada III had many “Go” (painter names) throughout his life. “Baido” was used extensively and he spelled it three different ways, –as documented here on the Ukiyo-e Literature Museum website.

This painting is in storage, but with 48 hours notice we will arrange a private viewing for serious inquiries. 

50″ x 28″ – $25,000 – Comes with a signed and sealed document of authenticity. Price includes shipping worldwide! All prices in Canadian dollars. $1000 discount for in-store purchase!

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