Group of 4 Japanese Paintings of Foreigners Edo Period
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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Paintings: Pre 1800: item # 1193271
Please refer to our stock # b6277 when inquiring.
Brian Page Antiques
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Group Of 4 Japanese Paintings of Foreigners. Edo Period.
11 x 7 1/2 ins. (28 x 19 cms) This unusual group of pictures of foreigners are painted in gouache with details of gold leaf here and there, e.g. buttons, earrings etc. Three of the group have identifying script; the man with a pointing finger together with a woman, is said to be Russian; the man with the red sash with a woman, Italian; the seated man with woman and child reads Tokyojin (man of Tokyo) but seem to illustrate Chinese. Possibly the characters for Tokyo (Eastern Capital) signify somewhere in China in this case; the group with an archer are unidentified but are possibly Mongolian. The style and execution seem to suggest a Chinese hand but the captions are in Japanese, two of them with katakana beside the kanji. Before the Meiji Restoration in 1868 foreigners were little seen by the Japanese populace and representations of them were frequently highly fanciful. In the Edo Period the only place foreigners were allowed was at the island of Deshima in Nagasaki Harbour. It is very likely that these paintings were done by a Chinese artist in Nagasaki and retailed in Japan.
The condition is good, two of the pieces have minor repaired worm damage near the top edge. Dating is very difficult but they probably were done ca. 1800.
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