Totoya Hokkei (Japanese). Woman Painting a Dragon. 1832. pigment on paper. Funds from the Asian Art Association. 1986.185.
height: 8 3/4 in, 22.2250 cm; width: 7 1/4 in, 18.4150 cm; mat height: 11 in, 27.9400 cm; mat width: 14 in, 35.5600 cm
Black characters TR and RC; Signature: Hokkei
Woman Painting a Dragon
by Toyota Hokkei (1780-1850)
about 1832, Edo period
Woodblock print, pigment on paper
Friends of the Asian Art Association
Toyota Hokkei, a student of the well-known ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai, was a fish seller who changed his profession to become a successful designer of privately published woodblock prints (surimono). This print depicts a woman painting a dragon that comes to life, rising from her fan in a trail of clouds, and was probably inspired by legends of early Chinese painters who mastered this astonishing feat. It is likely that this work was commissioned by a poetry club or literary society in 1832, the year of the water dragon.
At least 1986, Israel Goldman Japanese Prints, London; 1986, DAM collection, museum purchase.
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