We continue to showcase prints from Japan, and are pleased to offer this collection by Kamisaka Sekka (1866-1942), as well as a splendid dragon from the school of Sekka. Images such as these cemented his reputation as one of the greatest artists in the history of Japanese art.
Born in Kyoto, Sekka began his artistic training with the most prominent teachers the city could offer. Sekka was intrigued by westerners' integration of Japanese art styles into European art. He went to Glasgow in 1910 to study which element of Japanese are the most attractive to Western eyes. He returned to Japan to teach at the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts, continuing to experiment with Western tastes and styles in traditional Japanese art.
Sekka was a master of the Rimpa school of painting, which examines simple natural subjects such as birds, plants and flowers. Rimpa dates from the 17th century creates one-dimensional perspectives through the use of expanses of vivid colour. The school uses mica, gold and silver leaf, to give a shimmering, elusive quality which is the hallmark of Rimpa. Sekka's masterful compositions embody the traditions of old Japan, yet are, at the same time, superbly contemporary.
In 1899 he produced his first great series of prints titled "Chigusa" (A Thousand Grasses). Other woodblock albums are "A Thousand Butterflies" in 1903, "Poems and Pictures" in 1934, and his masterpiece "Momoyogusa" (A World of Things) in 1909. We are offering a collection of prints from the first edition "A Thousand Butterflies", published in 1903. It is rare indeed and was acquired on a recent trip to Japan. The images are lyrical in their views of exotic butterflies in flight.