柘榴の花に黄金鳥 (初夏)

zakuro no hana ni ougonchou (shoka)

Pomegranate Flowers and Black-naped Oriole (Early Summer)

ザクロの花にコウライウグイス (初夏)


Original Number

18


ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR THIS DESIGN
Currently Documented Edition Signature and Seal Markings:
Edition I: 楽山居 Raku-zan Kyo + Seal G

[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 18 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 18th 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: The first print run of about two hundred copies of 18 was finished and the design was published in January 1930 in installment nine (of fifty). (The exact printing and publication dates are unknown since no copies of the installment nine delivery documents have yet been located.) Another full edition I print run of 18 was probably produced before mid 1933 when the series was completed and edition I printing ceased. Currently, all documented copies of 18 come from these edition I printings, and no copies from later edition reprintings are known.

18alt, a woodblock print of an alternate sketch of the same design subject was issued the month before the initial printing of 18 as a preview advertisement (see Related Designs below).

Copies in Public Collections:
Edition I: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; (1951) 51.2480 [not illustrated online].

Edition I: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; (2019) 2019.039.038 [illustrated online].

Species Illustrated:
Pomegranate, Punica granatum, 柘榴, 石榴, 若榴, ざくろ, ザクロ, zakuro, is an originally exotic deciduous shrub. In Japan it has been extensively hybridized and is widely grown for its large edible fruit, ornamental flowers, and decorative bark which make it popular also as a bonsai subject. In 18 Rakusan has shown buds, open flowers, and two immature fruits.

Black-naped Oriole, Oriolus chinensis, is today usually called 高麗鴬, こうらいうぐいす, コウライウグイス, kourai-uguisu, lit. 'Korean warbler'. Although counted as a native species, it is only an unusual vagrant from the Asian mainland. Historically, it has often been kept as an exotic cage bird in Japan for its bright color and sweet song, and has several different names. Rakusan would likely have been illustrating a captive bird in an aviary. In his title-caption for 18 Rakusan used instead a different name, 黄金鳥, おうごんちょう, オウゴンチョウ, ougon-chou, lit. 'gold(en)-bird'.


Related Designs:
18alt

Other designs with pomegranate:
78
112-1 112-2 112-3 112-4 112-5 112