垂れやなぎに群燕 (中春)

shidareyanagi ni ore tsubame (chuushun)

Weeping Willow and Flock of Barn Swallows (Mid Spring)

シダレヤナギに群ツバメ (中春)


Original Number

65


ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR THIS DESIGN
Currently Documented Edition Watermark, Signature, and Seal Markings:
Edition I: 楽山居 Raku-zan Kyo + Seal A
Edition II: 楽山篁子生 Raku-zan Kou-shi-sei + Seal F
Edition III: 楽山篁子生 Raku-zan Kou-shi-sei + Seal B + Rakusan (cursive romaji signature)

[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 65 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 65th 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 65 was in January 1932 (or perhaps slightly later), and it was delivered in installment thirty-three (of fifty). However, additional edition I printings of 65 may have continued until the series was completed in mid 1933. The copy illustrated above (and below left) are typical of edition I.

65 was reprinted in both later editions. Edition II reprintings of 65 can only be dated approximately from between 1936 and 1941, and edition III between 1948 and 1955. The few documented examples of edition III suggest that only a single, smaller, reprinting run was made.

The rich tan background color of edition I was retained for edition II; but for edition III a pale, watery, almost greenish, color was substituted. There are also other subtle color differences in edition III. For edition III in addition to using a different seal Rakusan moved the location of the signature and seal combination from lower right to upper right and also shifted it slightly to the left. Currently, Foster era cursive romaji Rakusan signatures are only documented from edition III copies. The edition example images below were were captured under different lighting conditions and some colors are not exactly as they would appear in person:


65 (edition I)

65 (edition II)

65 (edition III)
Copies in Public Collections:
Edition II: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; (1951) 51.1740 [not illustrated online except as a slightly-cropped greeting card reproduction].
[This copy is unusual in having a reported secondary seal (seal C) at lower left which would have been applied later; unfortunately that area is cropped in the reproduction.]

Edition II: San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California, USA; 1981.21.3 [illustrated online].

Species Illustrated:
Weeping Willow, Salix babylonica, 枝垂(れ)柳, しだれやなぎ, シダレヤナギ, shidare-yanagi, lit. 'weeping willow', is a very common willow species in Japan. Weeping Willow was introduced into Japan hundreds of years ago from China. Like English, Japanese has a general name for 'willow', 柳, 楊, 楊柳, やなぎ, ヤナギ, yanagi, which may also be used to refer in particular to the Weeping Willow. However, the descriptor 枝垂(れ), (枝)垂れ, しだれ, シダレ, shidare, which refers to any tree with a weeping (pendulous) habit, is often added (as here) for clarity of reference. (Additional willow designs, presumably illustrating other species may be found at design number 86 in this series.)

Although not mentioned by name in the title-caption, 65 also includes a branch of pink-flowering Peach, Prunus persica var., 桃, もも, モモ, momo, 'peach'.

Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica, 燕, つばめ, ツバメ, tsubame, 'swallow', is a familiar native species. The name for the Barn Swallow may also be used as a general name for any swallow species or similar-appearing bird. Here Rakusan uses 群, ore, 'flock (a general collective)'.


Related Designs:
Other designs with weeping willow:
86 (?) 131-4

Other designs with swallows:
133-1

Other designs with peach blossoms:
41