Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bird Album

This ink-wash and watercolour album of birds was produced in Japan in the 19th century.

It bears a 'working title' hinting that it contains Dutch migratory birds, carries an Ex Libris stamp identifying it as belonging at some time to the Katsurakawa^ family (2nd fig. below), and is owned and hosted by the State Library of Berlin. I see everything from eagle, pheasants, parrot species and hawk, to rhinoceros hornbill, egret, pelicans and many other species that escape my fairly ignorant abilities. Is Holland on all of their migratory flight paths? Seems unlikely, so I opted for the fail-proof, vanilla post title of 'Bird Album'.


Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch n



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch o



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch p



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch m



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch j



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch h



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch r



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch k



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch w



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch c



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch u



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch t



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch q



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch s



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch v



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch x



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch b



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch d



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch e


Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch i



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch a



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch f



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch g



Ink + Watercolour  Bird sketch y



The 110+ page anonymous sketch album from the 19th century is called オランダ持ち渡り鳥類図帖 (仮題) 3巻 (online translation: 'Netherlands have migratory birds such as Figure Pledge (tentative) Volume 3') is available online via the State Library of Berlin website. [SBB Digital Collection homepage]

These delicate drawings are often outlined in ink and ink-wash and filled in with watercolour to a variable extent. Some of the illustrations are un(der)finished and I wonder if this isn't something of a practice or copy album with published book designs appropriated for Japanese natural scenes. It's all speculation of course. In general the birds are displayed quite realistically and are readily identifiable. I wonder, too, whether in those sketches where non-nondescript backgrounds are seen, if those birds were unfamiliar to the aritist(s).

The images above have all been moderately background cleaned and the colour saturation slightly boosted.

Thanks to @pop_ & @tatsushi_eto & @GingaStation.

ADDIT. Gallery page from *Birds in the Art of Japan* - the website associated with a current exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York (until the end of July 2013).

4 comments:

jinxxxygirl said...

These are amazing thanks for sharing!

Brizdaz (Darren) said...

Great post.
It reminds me of a post I wrote last week about a book called "Nest:The Art of Birds",which I picked up at the 'Byron Bay Writer's Festival' last year -

http://brizdazz.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/crows-nest.html

Caroline Grant said...

Beautiful prints, thanks for sharing!

nickyskye said...

Wow. Exquisite. So beautiful! Thanks for the treasure.

Post a Comment

Comments are all moderated so don't waste your time spamming: they will never show up.

If you include ANY links that aren't pertinent to the blog post or discussion they will be deleted and a rash will break out in your underwear.

Also: please play the ball and not the person.

 
Creative Commons License