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Keinen Album

Birds & Flowers

Imao Keinen (1846-1924)

1979 - FIRST EDITION - 4 Softcovers - Ho Kung-Shang/Art Book. Co., Taiwan
54, 56, 56 and 52 pages - 8 x 10 1/2 - Color plates

The Keinen Album catalogs all 160 full color pages of the Keinen Gacho Gafu.

  1979 reproduction of the original 1882 Keinen Kacho Gafu. (Bird and Flower Albums by KEINEN, Imao).

Title: Keinen Album: Birds & Flowers. [V. 1] Spring. --[V. 2]
Summer. --[V. 3] Autumn. --[V. 4] Winter. Introduction in English By Kai-Yu
Hsi; 1888 Introduction By Suzuki Kotobu in His Own Calligraphy Included.


Yr. Published: 1979
Description:  Four volumes. A fine set.  

All 4 volumes are clean and tight very sturdy.

In Japanese; contents and legends in English.



  Beautiful set of four art books containing 160 paintings by Imao Keinen featuring birds and plant life, divided by season (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter).. All paintings are reproduced in full color, soft covers in slipcase. In Japanese and English.

" 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

Keinen's  approach—realistic 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 an irresistible

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 University


Item # Keinen160

This Album has been sold. However, a fine reproduction of the original album is available. Please click here to view it. is owned and operated by John M. Martello

Postal address: John M. Martello P.O. BOX 855 Bethpage , NY 11714-0855

Phone: 516-662-1265

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