Subject: Attributed to Hanabusa Itcho 英一蝶 (1652 - 1724). Help with inscription.
Posted By: Unitopia Tue, Dec 15, 2020 IP: 22.214.171.124
Christmas is running closer so I wish all of you celebrating it very Happy Holidays!
I would very much appreciate help with the inscription on this artwork.
Artist: Attributed to HANABUSA ITCHO 英一蝶 (1652 - 1724).
Medium: Hanging scroll, ink on paper. It comes with an older signed wooden box, together with appraisal papers (?).
Dimensions: 173 x 26.5 cm, artwork 89 x 24.5 cm.
I compiled some info about the artist below:
He was a very well-known artist at his time and was exiled in 1698 by the Emperor until 1709 when he was pardoned. Many copies were made of his paintings due to his popularity, and he probably signed some of his students' paintings as well. He was born in Kyoto and studied under the Kano School, for Kano Yasunobu, before establishing his own style and later school, the Hanabusa School in Edo (Kyoto). His father was a doctor. Itcho also studied for the venerable Haiku Master Basho. He was known to be an excellent calligrapher, as well as a singer and song-writer.
He is said to have been a free-spirited, multi-talented artist. He escorted clients through the "Fleeting World", the brothel districts, as a Taikomochi. 1693 he was imprisoned for two months. It is not currently not fully known why, but one legend says that he made fun of the Shogun's concubines in a painting. During his exile at the island Miyake-Jima 三宅島, some 180 km from Tokyo, he still painted under the name Taga Choko ("Early Lake"). After his exile, on the ship back to the mainland, he saw a butterfly and took the name Itcho, "One Butterfly". Itcho's artworks from the islands are called "Shima Itcho", and became priced. He made some beautiful Buddha paintings and paintings of deities.
Part of his fame came from his eventful life and in his afterlife, he emerged as a rebel-artist, in books, prints, and theater. With his open-minded creativity and amalgamation of styles, ancient and modern to his time, Itcho is fittingly attributed to being one of the founding fathers of Ukiyo-e 浮世絵, the woodblock art genre of Japan. There was an early printed collection of his works "Itcho Gafu" (Itcho Pictorial Album). His last poem seems to define the Ukiyo-e:
ukiyo, a trick
the moon against a colorless gray sky
(Poem from "The Life and Afterlives of Hanabusa Itcho" by Miriam Wattles).
Thank you in advance and all the very best!