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Grapes

Grapes

1800s

Baikan Sugai

(Japanese, 1784-1844)

Hanging scroll; ink and light color on paper

Painting only: 129 x 53.3 cm (50 13/16 x 21 in.); Including mounting: 190.5 x 64.8 cm (75 x 25 1/2 in.)

The Kelvin Smith Collection, given by Mrs. Kelvin Smith 1985.247

Description

This loose composition is a casual work likely created for an acquaintance by Sugai Baikan, an artist known for his ink landscapes. Baikan was from Sendai in Tōhoku, and painted there before traveling to Edo (Tokyo) and then Kyoto, where he viewed a fan painting by Nagasaki-based Chinese businessman and artist Jiang Jiapu (dates unknown). Inspired, he moved to Nagasaki and studied with Jiang for many years, learning Chinese painting history and techniques. Then, after a stint in Osaka during which he enjoyed wide acclaim in painting and poetry circles, he returned to Sendai. Following a series of natural disasters in the region, his life fell into disarray and he drowned himself in a well.

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