源平くさぎにこうらうん (初夏)

genpeikusagi ni kouraun (shoka)

Glory Bower and Red-whiskered Bulbuls (Early Summer)

げんぺいくさぎにコウラウン (初夏)


Original Number

100


ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR THIS DESIGN
Currently Documented Edition Signature and Seal Markings:
Edition I: 楽山作 Raku-zan Saku + Seal A
Edition III: 楽山篁子生 Raku-zan Kou-shi-sei + Seal B

[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 100 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 100th 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'. Initial edition I publication of 100 was in June 1933 (or perhaps slightly later) in installment fifty (of fifty). Because 100 was the last design in the series, its publication simultaneously closed out edition I. Therefore only the initial print run of about 200 copies comprises edition I for this design. The copy illustrated here is typical of edition I.

100 was reprinted in edition III in colors very similar to those in edition I. Edition III printings can only be approximately dated between 1948 and 1955. There is currently no evidence of an edition II.

100 is one of the very few Rakusan designs for which any printing details exist. The Foster booklet reports that 100 required 130 printing impressions to complete.

Other Foster Information: 100 is among the most familiar Rakusan designs because of Walter Foster. In addition to marketing original Rakusan woodblock prints of 100 from Japan, Foster also sold two grades of reproductions which he had machine-printed in the USA. Both reproduction versions were created from the same original model, a later edition copy of 100 in Foster's personal collection. One version is a fine art reproduction produced for individual sale, and the other appears as page 23 of the Foster booklet.

The fine art reproduction was produced to very high standards of photolithography on good quality, heavy matte paper; and the inks were carefully color-matched to those of the original woodblock print. Because of this attention to detail, it was relatively expensive, few copies were sold, and they are seldom encountered today. Instead, what are mostly offered for sale as reproductions of 100 are actually copies of page 23 cut from the Foster booklet. Regrettably, the booklet was inexpensively and inexactly machine-printed on semi-gloss paper, and its illustration colors are not true to the original. Both reproduction versions are of similar size (listed as 9" x 12"); therefore they are significantly smaller than the original woodblock print (listed as 13" x 18"). (Both reproductions actually maintain the unique proportions of the original woodblock print; so the advertised dimensions are only rough approximations.) Initially, Foster sold original woodblock prints of 100 for $25, fine art reproductions for $3, and the entire booklet (with 27 different designs) for $1. Because the Foster booklet was printed in great numbers and remains widely available today, it is usually less expensive to buy the entire booklet than a single page reproduction.

Because Foster could not read Rakusan's Japanese title-captions, he made up ones of his own to use in the booklet. Most of these Foster labels are inaccurate at best. Here he called 100 "White Flowers and Birds".

[For additional general information on Foster, the booklet, or the fine art reproductions, see the Foster article.]

Species Illustrated:
Bleeding-heart Glory Bower (or Clerodendron), Clerodendrum thomsoniae, 源平臭木 or げんぺいくさぎ (or as here 源平くさぎ) genpeikusagi, is an exotic tropical vine shown here growing on an unidentifiable leafless tree or shrub for support.

Red-whiskered Bulbul, Pycnonotus jocusus, 紅羅雲 or コウラウン (or as here こうらうん) kouraun is not native to Japan, but it is a popular cage and aviary bird worldwide.


Related Designs: