牡丹に妃雀 (晩春)

botan ni kisakisuzume (banshun)

Tree-peonies and Straw-tailed Whydah (Late Spring)

牡丹にキサキスズメ (晩春)


Original Number

10


ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR THIS DESIGN
Currently Documented Edition Signature and Seal Markings:
Edition I: 楽山居 Raku-zan Kyo + Seal F
Edition II: 楽山篁子生 Raku-zan Kou-shi-sei + Seal F

[For illustration of seals listed by seal code letter, see the Seals article. For edition characteristics applicable to this series as a whole, see the Edition article.]

Design History:
This woodblock print was produced from an original painting on silk dating from the late 1920s whose current location is unknown. The indentification of this design as number 10 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 10th design in his series of one hundred woodblock prints called 楽山花鳥畫譜, Rakuzan Kachou Gafu, lit. 'Rakusan's Flower and Bird Print Series'.

Edition I first printing details for 10 are known precisely because copies of the delivery documents for installments four and five have survived. 10 was first announced as upcoming in the documents for installment four sent out on August 21, 1929. The first printing run of about 200 copies was completed September 20, 1929, and the publication date was September 21, 1929 in installment five (of fifty). However, additional edition I printings of 10 may have continued until 1933. The copy illustrated here is typical of edition I. Edition II printings for 10 can only be dated approximately from between 1936 and 1940, and currently no edition III examples are known.

Copies in Public Collections:
Edition II: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA; (1951) 51.1736 [not illustrated online except as a slightly-cropped greeting card reproduction];
[unusual in having an extra seal (seal C) at lower left].

Species Illustrated:
Tree-peony, Paeonia suffruticosa, 牡丹, ぼたん, ボタン, botan, now comes in many colors, shapes, and varieties. For 10 Rakusan selected a later-blooming variety. [Rakusan also illustrated elsewhere at least one other kind of tree-peony which blooms in the winter and which defines a similar constellation of designs including number 11 in this series.]

Straw-tailed (Fischer's) Whydah, Vidua fischeri, 妃雀, きさきすずめ, キサキスズメ, kisaki-suzume, lit. 'princess sparrow', is an ornamental exotic species native to East Africa. Rakusan would have used a zoo or aviary specimen as his model for 10.


Related Designs:
Other designs with later-blooming tree-peony:
103-1 103-2 103-3 103-4 103-5 103