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HOKUSAI Japanese Woodblock Print DRAGONFLY AND BELL FLOWER Rare

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HOKUSAI Japanese Woodblock Print DRAGONFLY AND BELL FLOWER Rare

HOKUSAI

Bell-Flower and Dragonfly


Date: originally designed by Hokusai and published c. 1832 by Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudo), this is a later undated edition c.1900; nice copy of a difficult to find Hokusai print
Size: approx. 10.5" x 15" overall
Condition: VG, age toned paper, but otherwise no flaws, uncirculated print, never framed
Impression: Fine, crisp key lines and precise registration
Color: Fine, deep saturated color and bleed to verso

AGAINST A YELLOW GROUND, A DRAGONFLY FLIES DOWN towards some Chinese bell-flowers. A slight breeze is blowing from the right.

Dragonflies often appear in Japanese nature prints, of which Utamaro's Ehon mushi erami (Pictue Book of Select Insects) of 1788 is the foremost example. One of Utamaro's plates features some Chinese bell-flowers of the red bodied species, aka tombo, with a dragonfly hovering nearby.

Dragonflies are among the more popular emblems of Japan, which, from the similarity that exists between the outline of the country as it appears on maps and the shape of these insects, is sometimes called the Island of the Dragonfly.


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