Chigusa No Hana is a lovely series of botanicals beautifully depicted in a natural state, showing all parts of the plant including stems, leaves, buds, flowers and fruit.
Printed in subtle shades of colour and finely executed, these are superb prints by a master of the kacho-e genre.
This is an antique, hand-crafted woodblock print from the original 1891 edition of “Chigusa No Hana” published by Unsodo, Kyoto
This print is also held in the collection of Boston Museum of Fine Art, Massachusetts
About the Author
Kono Bairei was born in Kyoto in 1844 and unusually for a wood block artist trained as a classical Japanese painter in the the Maruyama and Shijo schools.
By the 1880’s Bairei had become one of the leading practitioners of the Ukiyo-e school devoted to pictures of birds and flowers (kacho-ga) and at this time had about 60 apprentices in his studio.
In 1893 Bairei became a member of the Art Committee of the Imperial Household and the following year was commissioned by the Imperial family to paint murals in the famous Buddhist temple Higashi Hongan-ji in Kyoto.
Bairei also co-founded the Kyoto Prefectural Painting School, the forerunner of today’s Kyoto University of Arts.