“A thicket of pictures without Shapes” (Fukui gasō) 

Originally a double page  illustration (from 30)  from a 1817 Japanese book treating traditional Japanese painting.  The symmetrical damage in the corners, the spine and traces of paper consuming bugs, obviously dating from the time it was still part of the book which was perhaps sacrificed for that reason. The “link’ to Carl Thiemans iconic 1910 Berlin “Dachsgrund” print made because of  similarities in composition, (“movement”) and  asymetrie (click).    

Original paintings by Cho Gessho (1772-1832)

Japanese:    Fukei Gaso (Fugyo Gaso), 不形画藪

French:        “Recueil de peintures sans forme”. 

Introduction:    Hata Kanae, 

Calligraphy:    Niwa Sai, 

Editors:        Eirakuya Tôshirô and Matsuya Zenbei. 

Daté:         Bunka 14 (1817).

Period:        Edo (1615-1868)

Dimensions:    26 x 18,5 cm. 10 5/16 x 7 5/16 inch.

Copy in the Nw York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Credit line: Purchase, Mary and James G. Wallach Foundation Gift, 2013

Accession Number: 2013.682

Cho Gessho (1772 - 1832)
He was a painter and book illustrator* born in Hikone, Shiga pref. He went to Kyoto and studied painting under Kunkei Ichikawa (市川君圭). Then he studied under Gekkei Matsumura (松村月渓) (1752-1811) and he got his pen name, Gessho. He became a “goyo-eshi” (御用絵師:official painter) of Tokugawa family. His best known work: “Kuzyaku-to Kiku-zu” (孔雀と菊図: peacock and chrysanthemum) was highly evaluated by Buncho Tani (谷文晁).

Besides Fukui Gasō he is known for two other similar publications: Gesshō Soga (birds) and Zoku Koya Bunko (flowers).