Offered by: Thomsen Gallery
9 East 63rd Street New York City, NY 10065 , United States Call Seller 212.288.2588


Fruiting Peach Tree, 1930s

Price Upon Request
  • Description
    Matsubayashi Keigetsu
    Fruiting Peach Tree, 1930s
    Two-panel folding screen; ink and mineral colors on silk with gold leaf
    51½ x 49½ in. (131.5 x 126 cm)
    Signed at lower right Keigetsu Sanjin with a seal Atsushi

    Born in Hagi (Yamaguchi Prefecture), Matsubayashi Keigetsu moved to Tokyo at age 18 and was apprenticed to the celebrated Nanga-style painter Noguchi Yukoku. He first showed his work at the annual exhibition of the Nihon Bijutsu Kyokai (Japan Art Association) in 1897 and was selected for the second Bunten national exhibition in 1908. He would continue to exhibit regularly at the Bunten and its successors until 1956, becoming a jury member of the Teiten exhibition in 1919. In 1944, he was one of the last individuals to be named Teishitsu Gigeiin (Artist to the Imperial Household).

    From early in his career Keigetsu was an advocate of the Chinese-influenced Nanga landscape manner that he had studied under Yukoku. He became a leading member of several Nanga associations and his most celebrated compositions from his mature period are in versions of the Nanga style. Less well-known is Keigetsu’s work in a softer contemporary version of the Rinpa tradition of decorative painting, as exemplified by the present screen. Other examples of this distinctive manner include a pair of screens dated 1931 (T-4551, T-4552) offered/sold by Thomsen Gallery in 2020; another entitled Autumn Garden (1938); a screen painting of two turkeys seated beneath a fruiting grape vine, exhibited at the fourth Shin Bunten in 1941; and a painting of a bitter-orange tree, exhibited at the Eight Nitten in 1952.

    With the possible exception of the 1938 screens (whose signature is not visible in the published reproduction) all of these works are signed Keigetsu Sanjin (Keigetsu the Recluse), in three cases followed by his personal birth name Atsushi, either brushed or, on the present painting, in the form of a seal. All five works depict fruiting tree or vines in autumn, the favorite season of most earlier artists working in the Rinpa tradition, usually on a gold background and with extensive use of the tarashikomi (wet-on-wet or puddling) technique on the tree trunks. Alongside the screen’s gorgeous mineral colors and warm gold background, the vigorous composition, centered around a strong diagonal from lower right to upper left, is typical of Keigetsu’s neo-Rinpa work.
  • More Information
    Documentation: Signed
    Period: 1920-1949
    Condition: Good.
    Styles / Movements: Asian Art
    Incollect Reference #: 721887
  • Dimensions
    W. 49.61 in; H. 51.77 in;
    W. 126 cm; H. 131.5 cm;
Message from Seller:

Thomsen gallery, located in a townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, offers important Japanese paintings and works of art to collectors and museums worldwide. The gallery specializes in Japanese screens and scrolls; in early Japanese tea ceramics from the medieval through the Edo periods; in masterpieces of ikebana bamboo baskets; and in gold lacquer objects.

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