鳥とびわ (Bird in Loquat)

Designer: Hiroshige | Carver: David Bull

Paper size: 15cm by 11cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [HC] ? | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: $ 40.00£ 32.25€ 36.75 [Reprinting]

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Description: This image dates from the early 1830s, and is one of a series of ‘kacho-e’ (bird & flower pictures) produced by Hiroshige in that era. He and his publishers created dozens of these designs, each one featuring a particular kind of bird paired with a matching flower. A full collection of these would cover the entire gamut of the progression of the seasons through the year, depicting flowers and birds both common and rare.

This is perhaps the most unusual print in the set, done - as you can see - with no realistic colours, instead imitating the style of a stone rubbing. Although extremely simple in concept, it is far from easy to print; any tiny defects in the paper tend to show in the finished work, and the printer has to make special efforts to keep pigment from filling in many of the small carved lines.

As for the content, identifying the plant is easy; it’s a biwa (loquat), but is the bird intended to represent a starling? If so, then Dave should keep a close watch on the window of his Library Room - there is a loquat outside that has grown high enough to be visible through the window, and starlings are common in the area.

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