芍薬に紅戴 (初夏)

shakuyaku ni beni-itadaki (shoka)

Peonies and Redpolls (Early Summer)

シャクヤクにベニヒワ(初夏)


Original Number

34


ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR THIS DESIGN
Currently Documented Edition Signature and Seal Markings:
Edition I: 楽山居 Raku-zan Kyo + 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 34 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 34th 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'.

34alt, a woodblock print of an alternate sketch of the same design subject was issued the month before the initial printing of 34 as a preview advertisement (see Related Designs below).

Edition I: The first printing run of about two hundred copies of 34 was completed and the design published in September 1930 in installment seventeen (of fifty). (The exact printing and publication days within September are unknown since no copies of the installment seventeen delivery documents have yet been located.) However, at least one additional edition I printing was made before mid 1933 when the series was completed and and all edition I printing ceased. Almost all of the documented copies of 34 come from these edition I printings, including the two different example copies illustrated at top above and and below left.

No edition II copies of 34 are currently known.

Edition III: 34 was reprinted in a single, very much smaller, later edition currently documented only by a single copy. Unfortunately, the available images for that copy do not show the edition-diagnostic watermark. However, the scarcity of examples, the color and technique changes, and the presence of a Foster era cursive Rakusan romaji signature suggest that it represents an edition III printing which can only be approximately dated to sometime between 1948 and 1955.

34 (edition I) 34 (edition III), DePaul Art Museum #5163

Both versions of 34 differ significantly in color and technique. Edition III is more contrastive than in the original edition I, especially in the foliage. In both editions the different backgrounds have bokashi shading in the lower portions.

Copies in Public Collections:
Edition III: DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, Illinois, USA; (5163); [illustrated online]. [Formerly in DePaul University Museum]

Species Illustrated:
Chinese Peony (or Garden Peony), Paeonia lactiflora, 芍薬, しゃくやく, シャクヤク, shakuyaku, is an herbaceous clumping perennial peony (rather than a tree-peony). This pair of related designs are the only Rakusan designs known to show this kind of peony. As the name implies, this is an exotic garden plant, but it was long ago imported into Japan and is widely grown today.

Common Redpoll, Carduelis (Acanthis) flammea, today usually called 紅鶸, べにひわ, ベニヒワ, beni-hiwa, lit. 'red-finch', is a Japanese native species. Rakusan used a different name in his title-caption for 34, 紅戴, beni-itadaki, beni-itadaki, lit.'red-crowned'.


Related Designs:
34alt