To collaborate on a piece of art was a popular practice among all sorts of intellectuals, poets, and painters. The generic term for such collaborative works is gassaku. Gassaku are wonderful results of long friendships and short visits. But this Gassaku is different. Here is why.
The painting is signed and inscribed by "72 years old Hara Zaichu." - Thus this painting dates to 1823. - 82 years later, "at the age of 92 on an autumn day of September 1905" and decades after Hara Zaishu's dead Tanomura Chokunyu sat down, diped his brush in ink and added what he had to add.
The inscription reads: This painting’s quiet ambience gives me the impression of both blue flower and autumn moon. - Seeing the site and knowing its name. On an autumn day of September, Gashin-do, 92 years old Chokunyu Dojin denchi.
Although Hara Zaichu was not an unknown artist in his days he was far from being prominent. And there is no doubt that this painting would have been treasured by collectors both in Japan and in the West, because of the painting on the mounting by Tanomura Chokunyu. His wonderfully summery landscape painting as well as the poetic inscription makes it desirable today. – Amazing, unusual, and rare.
Tanomura Chokunyu (1814-1907)
Hara Zaichu (1750-1837)
103.3 x 26.8 cm (40 1/2 x 10 1/2 in.)
Mounting 182 x 37 cm (71.5 x 14.5 in.)
Modern wooden box. The inscription on it is unrelated to the scroll.