with artist's seal Konen, and publisher's seal Hanken shoyu Watanabe Shozaburo (copyright ownership Watanabe Shozaburo) on right margin, the title and date on the left margin, Showa sannen (Showa 3 )
oban tate-e 15 1/2 by 10 3/8 in., 39.3 by 26.2 cm
Uehara Konen was born in the Asakusa district of Tokyo. He was a student of the painter Kajita Hanko (1870-1917) and of Matsumoto Fuko (1840-1923), who was the uncle of Takashi Shotei (Hiroaki, 1871-1945). Konen designed a group of small-format prints that were published by Kobayashi Bunshichi (1864-1923), an ukiyo-e dealer who collected privately and also published reproductions. Kobayashi was a very influential figure; in 1898, he and Ernest Fenellosa (1853-1908, former curator of Japanese art of the MFA, Boston) organized the first exhibition of ukiyo-e in Ueno Park in Tokyo. He was also a supplier of Hayashi Tadamasa (1853-1906), the famous dealer of ukiyo-e located in Paris. Konen's lyrical subjects were well-suited for buyers of classic ukiyo-e. Unfortunately, Kobayashi's shop and legendary collection of of prints were destroyed in the fires following the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake.
Following the death of Kobayashi in the same year as the 1923 earthquake, Konen turned to Watanabe Shozaburo (a former employee of Kobayashi from 1902-06), producing only two full-sized prints with publisher in 1928: a night view of Dotonbori in Osaka, and this moonlit view of a pagoda.
Amy Reigle Newland, gen. ed., Printed to Perfection: Twentieth-century Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, 2004, pp. 33-34
National Museum of Asian Art (Sackler Gallery), Robert O. Muller Collection, accession no. S2003.8.3100 (descriptive title Twilight at a Pagoda)
Art Institute of Chicago, Bruce Goff Archive, gift of Shin'enkan, accession no. 1990.607.225 (descriptive title Fading Lamplight of a Pagoda)
(inv. no. 10-5432)
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site last updated
October 21, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
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New York, New York 10019
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