Huge oysters in a bamboo basket surrounded by flies. Beside the basket clams are also seen. Painted with ink and pigments on silk. Sealed. The seal reads Kazan.
Watanabe Kazan (1793–1841) was a Japanese painter, scholar and statesman member of the samurai class. In his early life, Kazan was heavily influenced by the artistic styles of the west, forming a unique style with elements of Japanese and European art. Like many other Edo-period artists, Kazan painted realistic portraits of his subjects using the effects of shading which he learned from European paintings. On the one hand, he was a traditionalist Confucian, who believed in filial piety and loyalty to his daimyo, and on the other he was enthusiastic about Western ideas regarding science and politics. He wrote two private essays which were interpreted as being critical of the Shogunate's defense of Tokyo Bay and promoting Western ideas.
The scroll has been newly remounted and in excellent condition. It is accompanied by a paulownia wood storage box.
Painting: W15 3/4” x L9 7/8” (W40cm x L25cm)
Scroll: W20 7/8” x L45 5/8” (W53cm x L116cm)