Amaranth & Rooster | Circa 1930 | Japanese scroll painting




Amaranth & Rooster

Artist Unknown

Hanging scroll, ink, mineral pigment and gofun on silk.

Painting inscription: Tojo 東城

Painting seal: Tojo 東城

Circa 1930


Scroll: 200 cm x  102 cm (79” x 40”)

Image: 138 cm x 85 cm (54” x 33.5”)

Price USD 12500

Though unlisted, Tojo was clearly a talented Nihonga painter. The artist paints with superb naturalism a scene of delicate beauty. This painting expresses the warmth of an early autumn evening with shadows lengthening in the foreground.

Working in the naturalist tradition that reached its height during the first decades of the 20th century, the painter frames the composition as if looking through a window or the lens of a camera. The effect is at once visually brilliant and overflowing with realistic detail. The composition arcs upwards and towards the right with the vertical stems of the amaranth plant, leading toward the over-reaching vine of the morning glory. The colours of the deeply pigmented amaranth (hageitou) in warm shades of reds and yellows contrast with the cooler greens of the foliage and the soft blue of the scattered morning glory flowers. Hidden amongst the foliage is a white rooster. Its cockscomb blends seamlessly with the rich burgundy leaves and the drape of its tail-feathers anchor the composition.