Currently Documented Edition Signature and Seal Markings:
||+ Seal A
||+ 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.]
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 38 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 38th 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 38 was in November 1930 (or perhaps slightly later) in installment nineteen (of fifty).
However, additional edition I printings of 38 may have continued until mid 1933.
The copy illustrated here is typical of edition I.
Rakusan considered 38 to be one of his best designs and included it in at least four formal presentation albums between 1940 and 1941. No edition II copies of 38 are currently known. However, since an edition I copy of 38 was still available for inclusion in a presentation album as late as August 1941 (see below), it is likely that an edition II reprinting before the studio closed that same year would not have been necessary.
Edition III reprintings of 38 can only be dated approximately from between 1948 and 1955.
Copies of both editions of 38 are similarly colored, and edition can only be determined securely from the attribution markings.
38alt, a woodblock print of an alternate sketch of the same design subject was issued the month before the initial printing of 38 as a preview advertisement.
38alt is worthy of special note because it is the only alternate sketch in the series which does not include a bird.
Copies in Public Collections:
Edition I: Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, Amherst, MA, USA; (1942.44.e); from an August 1941 presentation album [illustrated online].
Edition I: Robert Frost Library (Soffer Ornithology Collection), Amherst College, Amherst, MA, USA; [not illustrated online].
In 38 Rakusan used two fancy varieties of hybrid Chrysanthemum.
In Japanese the general name used for all chrysanthemums is 菊, きく, キク, kiku
Here Rakusan uses the general name with the descriptor 大輪 , たいりん, タイリン, tai-rin
, which in this context means 'large-flowered'.
As such it refers to a general class of hybrid garden chrysanthemums rather than any particular named variety.
Today, most chrysanthemum varieties are considered forms of Chrysanthemum x morifolium
, (C. x grandiflorum
), which is derived from C. indicum
and related species.
Chestnut Munia (Black-headed Munia/Mannikin), Lonchura atricapilla, 金腹, きんぱら, キンパラ, kin-para, lit. 'gold-breast', is popular exotic cage or aviary bird in Japan.