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Kyōsai Gadan, Anatomical Drawing of Rear Facing Man


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Anatomical drawing of rear facing man

from the book Kyōsai Gadan

 by Kawanabe Kyōsai, 1887

IHL Cat. #298

About this Print and the Book

A double-bookplate removed from the first volume of Kawanabe Kyosai's four volume work Kyōsai Gadan 暁斎画談, variously translated as "Kyōsai's Account of Painting,"  "Kyōsai's Treatise on Painting," and "Stories of Painting by Kyōsai."

The four volumes comprising Kyōsai Gadan
Note: The bound volumes are not part of this collection

Source: Suntory Museum of Art https://www.suntory.com/sma/exhibition/2019_1/display.html [accessed 3-26-2021]
Kyōsai Gadan "reveals how widely Kyōsai studied masterpieces from the past." It includes his copies of works by Song and Yuan dynasty paitners, the great Japanese master Sesshu, generations of Kano-school artists such as Motonobu and Tan’yu, Tosa and Maruyama school painters, Ogata Korin and Tani Buncho and ukiyo-e artists such as Suzuki Harunobu, Kitagawa Utamaro and Katsushika Hokusai.

Sources: Copying the Master and Stealing His Secrets: Talent and Training in Japanese Painting, Brenda G. Jordan and Victoria Weston, University of Hawaii Press, 2002, p.96-97
Beginning with the fourth illustration [of Kyosai gadan], Kyosai offered his readers a series of anatomy drawings showing the alignment of muscles or the underlying skeletal structure of the human body.

Sources: Demon of Painting: the Art of Kawanabe Kyōsai, Timothy Clark, British Museum Press, 1993, p. 29 and Copying the Master and Stealing His Secrets: Talent and Training in Japanese Painting, Brenda G. Jordan; Victoria Weston, University of Hawaii Press, 2002, p. 103
Several pages of Kyosai gadan reproduce Western anatomical drawings given to him by Conder, but more as a curiosity than anything else. 

According to Conder, Kyosai regarded with profound respect the scientific knowledge of anatomical form, perspective and sciography revealed to him in foreign works.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description Drawing based on Western anatomical drawing showing rear facing man and skeleton from the book Kyōsai Gadan, Volume 1 暁斎画談 
 Artist  Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831-1889)
 Signature None
 Seal  None
 Publication Date 1887 (Meiji 20)
 Publisher Iwamoto Shun 岩本俊
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent
 Genre ehon (illustrated book)
 H x W Paper
 8 1/4 x 10 in. (21 x 25.4 cm) each sheet
 Collections Holding "Kyōsai Gadan"  Kawanabe Kyosai Memorial Museum; Waseda University Library; The British Museum 1979,0305,0.390.1; Museum of Fine Arts Boston 1997.592.1-4
 Reference Literature

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