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Scholten Japanese Art Gallery
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Obayashi Chimaki
Obayashi Chimaki
Obayashi Chimaki
Obayashi Chimaki (1887-1959)
bijin with a letter
ink and colors on silk, with details in gold; signed Chimaki, sealed Chimaki
painting 44 7/8 by 16 3/8 in., 114 by 41.5 cm
overall 78 3/8 by 22 in., 199 by 56 cm
Obayashi Chimaki was a student of the ukiyo-e artist Tomioka Eisen (1864-1905) and one of the leading Nihonga landscape painters, Kawai Gyokudo (1873-1957). This painting is an interesting combination, typical of Nihonga, of traditional and modern techniques. The subject of a beauty engaging in the quiet pursuit of reading is classic ukiyo-e, and even the hairstyle is reminiscent of a style popular in the 17th century. And while her face is skillfully depicted with soft colors and brushwork in a late ukiyo-e style similar to the work of Tomioka Eisen, the loose lines of her body and kimono are much bolder, and the limited somber palette is more modern.