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okuhara seiko landscape painting view-1

Okuhara Seiko | Painting


Okuhara Seiko was a strikingly independent artist. She was a literati painter, calligrapher and Chinese-style poet in the eclectic artistic atmosphere of the Meiji period. Seiko’s desire to pursue a painting career in the capital was contrary to strict local fief laws. But her being adopted by her aunt's family (Okuhara) residing in the neighboring fief, allowed her to avoid this obstacle. She moved to the capital in spring of 1865. Around this time she took the name Seiko. In 1912 when her health began to fail, she hung a plaque on her gate saying she would no longer take commissions. She died a year later at the age of seventy-seven. 
Many of her works remain in private collections. There is, however, a major collection of her works in the Koga City Museum of History. Some paintings owned by the Tokyo National Museum; the Ibaraki Museum of Modern Art; the Prefectural History Museum, Mito; Saitama Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, and the Municipal History Museum in Koga.


Okuhara Seiko had a particular affection for seals. She used no less than 134 different ones, different in style, size and inscription. Many of her seals were very poetic, like the ones on this scroll: The eye is big whereas the moon is small, The bat returns home straight away, and Anxious for antiquity. Each of which is published in the separate volume dedicated to Seiko's seals, accompanying the exhibition at the Ibaraki Prefectural Museum of History in 2001. 

The lid of the box is inscribed "Okuhara Seiko landscape in ink" (suiboku sansui). The inside of the lid reveals that the painting has been made for Hinata San'emon (1865-1940) of Toyosaka. The inscription is dated to July 1891 (Meiji 24).


Okuhara Seiko (1837-1913)

Landscape Painting, 1891

Ink on paper

124.9 x 49.2 cm (49 x 19¼ in.)

Mounting 196 x 63 cm (77 x 24¾ in.)

Old wooden box with inscription

SKU: 1910
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