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Kamisaka Sekka 神坂雪佳

“Flower Garden”

Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper
117.5 x 36.2 cm. (46 1/4 x 14 1/4 in.)

“Painted by Sekka.”

Artist seal:


(NOTE: Further information is provided below the detailed images.)



The plants and flowers include camellia, lilly, hydrangea, cockscomb, bell flower, and chrysanthemum. They are drawn with meticulous realism to the extent that all can be easily identified. Such a grouping is of course unnatural, as is the arrangement hereof those lovely forms, but the formal composition does present characteristic views of the individual plants as well as providing a pleasant composition of vertical elements set off against the curving branch above. The strong visual impact of the colorful group and the simple but effective design identify the artist as a later member of the Rimpa School of painting.

Kamisaka Yoshitaka, called Sekka, was born in Kyoto, the eldest of six sons born to a samurai who served at the Imperial Palace. In 1881, at the age of fifteen, Sekka began to study painting with Suzuki Zuigan, who was very well-known at the time, so Sekka came to know many prominent figures in Kyoto art circles. In 1887 he met Shingawa Yajiro, a government minister charged with encouraging the development of Japan’s industry but equally interested in the arts, especially for their potential as exports. Sekka was strongly impressed by Yajiro’s theories, and in later life devoted himself to a life immersed in the arts and crafts of Japan, earning many awards and honors at home and abroad.

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