Illustrated botanical manuscript album on paper, the finely accomplished botanical drawings for an, as yet, unidentified publication.

Nine full-page, one four-page, & 30 double-page illus. on 38 folding leaves. 8vo (280 x 204 mm.), orig. wrappers (wrappers a little soiled), orig. stitching. [Japan: late Edo].

This fine album of botanical paintings of very high quality was clearly prepared as the final illustrations for a book publication: all the drawings are framed within red-ruled borders. We have not been able to identify the printed book.

Some of the images make use of fine, even outlines, but the emphasis is on color. Often the color is applied in the so-called “boneless” (mokkotsu) method, i.e., without ink outlines, relying entirely on color. Both the outline-and-color and “boneless” methods trace their roots to Chinese flower painting. Some of the compositions, notably those that arise from one corner and employ diagonal movements or divisions of the picture space, also echo Chinese pictorial formulas.

These paintings oftentimes have an ethereal or “otherworldly” or “hyperreal” quality.

Fine condition, preserved in a chitsu. There are two small wormholes, which touch the images. On the upper wrapper is written in a fine calligraphic hand Natsu (“summer”).

Price: $6,500.00

Item ID: 6615

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