Shibata Zeshin | Letter
Taishin left Tokyo in February 1856 for an entire year. He left the house where he has been living and working for more than twenty years. Taishin left for his Grand Tour. Ikeda Taishin (1825–1903) was Shibata Zeshin's most promising, most prominent, and most accomplished student. Shortly afterwards Taishin left Zeshin to set up his own studio in Asakusa, just around the corner from Zeshin.
The addressee of this letter is Gosetsu, the owner of a sweet's shop in Kyoto and collector of paintings. And Zeshin asks him a favour. To let Taishin in.
"I write this letter to you as I am enjoying lovely spring like days and tender skies. I hope that nothing stirring happened to you so far. My apprentice Kyuzaburo is studying in Kyoto for a while. And I would like to ask you to let him see the splendid scrolls you have in your house. I am counting on your generous heart. And I am terribly sorry for my messy writing. Please throw this letter in a bank of reed. I will thank you in person sometime soon. - February 11th, Shibata Zeshin to Gosetsu." [*Kyuzaburo, Taishin's youth name (Jap. youmei).]
Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891)
Letter to Gosetsu, 1856
Ink on paper
14.5 x 41.5 cm (5¾ x 15¼ in.)
Mounting 104.5 x 44.5 (41 x 17½ in)