Currently Documented Edition Signature and Seal Markings:
||+ Seal A
[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 46 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 46th 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 46 was in March 1931 (or perhaps slightly later) in installment twenty-three (of fifty).
However, additional edition I printings may have continued until mid 1933. No later edition copies of 46 are currently known.
The copy illustrated is typical of edition I.
Rakusan considered 46 to be one of his best designs and included it in at least one formal presentation album between 1935 and 1940.
(Only one of these albums is known to be in a public collection, see below.)
46 is one of the few designs in this series which include any physical features as part of the composition.
Here moss covered rocks are shown in both the foreground and background near a small rapidly flowing stream.
46alt, a woodblock print of an alternate sketch of the same design subject was issued the month before the initial printing of 46 as a preview advertisement.
46 is the last of the designs in this series for which an alternate sketch was distributed.
Copies in Public Collections:
Edition I: Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, Amherst, MA, USA; (AC 2004.151.06) [illustrated online]; from an October 29, 1935 presentation album.
Fringed Iris or Japanese Iris, Iris japonica
is a native Japanese wildflower.
It has several names including 著莪, 射干, しゃが, シャガ, shaga
; and 胡蝶花, コチョウカ, kochouka.
Rakusan was very fond of depicting iris flowers, but 46 and 46alt are the only two designs in which he included this particular species.
Brown Dipper, Cinclus pallasii, 川烏, 河烏, かわがらす, カワガラス, kawa-garasu, lit. 'river-crow' is native to much of northern Eurasia where it frequents swift-flowing streams.
Another local name is 沢烏, sawa-garasu, lit. 'marsh-crow'.