Birds & Flowers
Imao Keinen (1846-1924)
1977 - Keinen
Kacyo gafu (four seasons) Kyoto
reproduction of the 1891-1892 original.
Author: Keinen Iwao
IMAO KEINEN Kacyo gafu Japanese art books with cardboard
Keinen Album full color pages of the Keinen Gacho Gafu.
Title: Keinen Album: Birds & Flowers. 4 books. Each book represents one of the 4 seasons.
Yr. Published: 1977
Printed Japanese style, read from back
" The Keinen Album, a
collection of 160 flower and bird paintings by Imao Keinen (1846-
1924) of Kyoto , Japan ,
has been enjoying its deserved reputation as the acme of this genre
Since its first appearance in
an 1882 edition of hand-inked and hand-colored woodcut prints.
The selections include just about all
the ornithological and floral species that have ever appeared
under an Asian artist's brush. The
seasonal division of the collection into four parts accentuates
and naturalistic. He modeled his art after the real, observing the
Objects meticulously; he
practiced Sketching the birds in their natural habitat, in the garden, out
in the fields, way out in the
seldom trodden hills, and then bringing them home into his studio.
The result is a rich galaxy of these
feathered creatures, displaying all colors and striking all
postures. Their variety is only
matched by the array of flowers and foliage, from gnarled myrtle
trunk that flex their defiant muscles to
delicate iris petals that seem ready to take flight.
Real though the birds and florals may
seem, the paintings are not mere copies of nature.
There is as much idealization of reality
in them as is to be found in the best of the Sung dynasty
Academy tradition. The
perfect forms and their occasional imperfections (in a crumpled leaf or
broken branch) are ail calculated
to complete a delightful rhythmic composition.
Keinen's artistic development started at
the age of fourteen when he studied with the
master painter Suzuki Kotobu, whose 1888
introduction appears in his own seasoned calli-
graphy at the beginning of the album
here (the second introductory essay was written in 1889
by Yamamoto Akio, another noted name in
Japanese art and literature, also in his own elegant
calligraphy). Keinen applied himself to
the study of calligraphy at the same time and did not
begin accepting students until he
reached twenty-six. His country honored him with such a title
as Artist of the Japanese Empire, and a
membership in the Imperial Fine Arts Academy .
More than the famous albums of this
genre that have retained a position of honor in
the Chinese painting tradition (The Mustard Seed Garden by
Wang Kai of the 17th century,
Ten-bamboo Studio Album by
Hu Yueh-ts'ung of the 17th century, or even the Album of
Precious Birds by Huang Ch'Uan of the 10th century) the Keinen Album offers
appeal to general lovers of art and
particularly to students learning to paint in this genre. As a
model for compositional exercises, and
for control of form and color, the album has been and
will remain an accomplishment to be envied and imitated."
Kai-yu Hsu - Professor of Humanities - San Francisco State
Item # Keinen 4