Bird resting on a bamboo carrying device from Shibata Zeshin Picture Book: Yamato Nishiki, c. 1880s

by Shibata Zeshin

IHL Cat. #2226

Description

A master of everyday things, Zeshin depicts a sparrow sitting on a bamboo carrying pole tenbinbō 天秤棒 with two roped trays at either end. This print was designed as one of twenty prints for the two volume illustrated book Ehon Yamato Nishiki: Shibta Zeshin sensei gafu 繪本大和錦: 柴田是真先生畫譜 , commonly referred to as Shibata Zeshin Gafu 柴田是真画譜.

Tokyo printmaker David Bull, who has re-carved a number of Shibata's designs, describes Shibata's print designs, as follows: "Zeshin is famous for arranging his designs on the paper in novel ways; he may bunch the design all into one corner and leave the rest of the paper blank, he may omit important design elements completely, or he may distort or 'lop off' parts of the image leaving us somewhat confused at first as to just what it is we are looking at. But after a moment or two, our eyes manage to sort it out."[1] 

[1] Mokuhankan website https://mokuhankan.com/catalogue/0014.php

Ehon Yamato Nishiki: Shibta Zeshin sensei gafu

繪本大和錦: 柴田是真先生畫譜

Print Details

Bird resting on a bamboo carrying device #2226

artist signature and seal