Mochizuki Gyokkei
Mochizuki Gyokkei detail

Mochizuki Gyokkei (1874-1938)

Playing Cat
(Tawamureru Neko)

hanging scroll; ink and colors on silk; depicting a cat peering at a shrimp inside a clear glass bottle vase with a large blossoming peony, signed Gyokkei with one seal Gyokkei no in; accompanied by wood storage box with title and authentication by the artist's son: Tawamureru neko no zu (a painting of a playing cat), Gyokkei ou shin seki (authentic painting by Gyokkei), Mochizuki Gyokusei dai kan (titled and authenticated by Mochizuki Gyokusei [son of Gyokkei]), with one seal Gyokusei, and dated, Showa kinoto-u satsuki kichi shin (Showa elemental and zodiac year of 'younger brother earth' and 'hare' [authentication dated 1939], early May)

painting 107 by 40 cm.; 42 1/8 by 15 3/4 in.
overall 201 by 60 cm.; 79 1/8 by 23 5/8 in.

Gyokkei's father, Mochizuki Gyokusen (1834-1913), worked at the Imperial Palace painting fusuma panels in 1855, when he would have been only twenty-one; and yet was able to adapt to changing times in the Meiji Period (1868-1912) and enjoy considerable recognition as an important Nihonga (modern Japanese) artist. Gyokkei followed the path set by his father, incorporating Mochizuki, Shijo and Nihonga styles while specializing in landscape and kacho-ga subjects. Both father and son exhibited their works at national and international exhibitions such as the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, and the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900.

In January 1915 The International Studio magazine published a report from Tokyo under the column Studio-Talk (From our Own Correspondents) by Professor Harada Jiro (who would become the Director of the Tokyo National Museum) in which he discussed a backlash against Western influences and a revival in traditional Japanese architecture and interior decoration which he illustrates with photographs of several fusuma panels painted by Gyokkei for the home of Baron Fujita in Osaka.


Mochizuki Gyokkei signature

Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays, 11am - 5pm, by appointment.

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit.

site last updated
October 18, 2019

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475