花桐に雉子鳩 (初春)

hanagiri ni kijibato (banshun)

Paulownia Flowers and Rufous Turtledoves (Late Spring)

花桐にキジバト (初春)


Original Number

80


ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR THIS DESIGN
Currently Documented Edition Signature and Seal Markings:
Edition I: 楽山作 Raku-zan Saku + 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 80 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 80th 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 80 was in August 1932 (or perhaps slightly later) in installment forty (of fifty). However, additional edition I printings may have continued until mid 1933. The copy illustrated is typical of edition I.

No edition II copies of 80 are currently known, and it seems probable that none were printed.

80 was reprinted in at least one very small edition III print run sometime between 1948 and 1955. The most important of the few documented examples is the one illustrated in the Foster booklet (discussed in more detail below). For edition III Rakusan replaced the original rich tan background with a lighter beige color, introduced bokashi shading on the flowers (especially those at right), replaced browns on the bark with lighter or darker hues, and made several other color and technique modifications. Some of the changes appear to be printing faults, as in the lack of color on the flowers immediately below the center bird and above the branch:

80 (edition III partial detail showing color and technique changes)

Rakusan created the lavender and purple colors in all editions of 80 (and several other designs in this series) using ink mixtures including a single kind of purple pigment (probably an organic lake). Unfortunately, this pigment is very susceptible to sun-fading and can disappear completely leaving only the more stable pigments with which it was once mixed. In sun-damaged copies of 80 the paulownia flowers appear pale blue, gray, whitish, etc. depending on the remaining color. Therefore, 80 is one of several Rakusan designs which should never be framed or displayed in order to retain its original colors.

80 is one of the very few Rakusan designs for which any printing details exist. The Foster booklet reports that 80 required 220 printing impressions to complete.

Other Foster Information: 80 is among the most familiar Rakusan designs because of Walter Foster. In addition to marketing original Rakusan woodblock prints of 80 from Japan, Foster also sold two grades of reproductions which he had machine-printed in the USA. Both reproduction versions were created from the same original model, an edition III copy of 80 in Foster's personal collection. One version is a fine art reproduction produced for individual sale, and the other appears as page 14 of the Foster booklet.

The fine art reproduction was produced to very high standards of photolithography on good quality, heavy matte paper; and the inks were carefully color-matched to those of the original woodblock print. Because of this attention to detail, it was relatively expensive, few copies were sold, and they are seldom encountered today. Instead, what are mostly offered for sale as reproductions of 80 are actually copies of page 14 cut from the Foster booklet. Regrettably, the booklet was inexpensively and inexactly machine-printed on semi-gloss paper, and its illustration colors have an overall yellow tinge not present on the original. Both reproduction versions are of similar size (listed as 9" x 12"); therefore they are significantly smaller than the original woodblock print (listed as 13" x 18"). (Both reproductions actually maintain the unique proportions of the original woodblock print; so the advertised dimensions are only rough approximations.) Initially, Foster sold original woodblock prints of 80 for $25, fine art reproductions for $3, and the entire booklet (with 27 different designs) for $1. Because the Foster booklet was printed in great numbers and remains widely available today, it is usually less expensive to buy the entire booklet than a single page reproduction.

Because Foster could not read Rakusan's Japanese title-captions, he made up ones of his own to use in the booklet. Here he called 80 "Paulownia and Doves".

[For additional general information on Foster, the booklet, or the fine art reproductions, see the Foster article.]

Species Illustrated:
Paulownia (Empress/Princess Tree, Foxglove Tree), Paulownia tomentosa (P. imperialis), 桐, きり, キリ, kiri, 'paulownia', is a common ornamental tree planted in many parts of Japan and in the West. Rakusan uses 花桐, hana-giri, lit. 'flowering paulownia, paulownia flower' which is a descriptive and not a species designation.

(Oriental) Rufous Turtledove, Streptopelia orientalis, 雉(子)鳩, きじばと, キジバト, kiji-bato, lit. 'pheasant-dove', is a common dove native to Japan and nearby areas. It is also often kept as a pet and has been introduced in many parts of the world.


Related Designs:
Other designs with paulownia tree:
90

Other designs with doves:
17alt 17 20alt 20 78