KAWANABE KYŌSAI (1831–1889)
Two Crows on a Branch Overlooking Asakusa at Dawn
Hanging scroll: ink and color on silk; 39⅛ x 13¾ in. (99.5 x 34.9 cm); Meiji era (1868–1912), 1883
Signed: Joku Nyūdo Kyōsai zu
Sealed: Bankoku tobu (Flying over many lands)
Provenance: Josiah Conder
Published: Conder, Josiah. 1911. Paintings and Studies by Kawanabe Kyosai: An Illustrated and Descriptive Catalogue of a Collection of Paintings, Studies and Sketches, by the Above Artist, with Explanatory Notes on the Principles, Materials and Technique, of Japanese Painting. Tokyo, Yokohama, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore: The Maruzen Kabushiki Kaisha, Kelly and Walsh, Ltd. , no. 51, Pl. XII.
Winkel and Magnussen, Copenhagen. 1942. Doktor Josiah Conder’s Samling Af Japansk Kunst. Auct. cat. Jun 1st–3rd, 1942, lot 149.
Kawanabe Kusumi et al. 2015. Gaki Kyōsai/Kyosai: Master painter and his student Josiah Conder. Exh. cat. Tokyo: Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Kawanabe Kyosai Memorial Museum Foundation. No. 48, p. 67.
Crows are a signature subject of the great nineteenth century painter Kawanabe Kyōsai, and the Conder Two Crows on a Branch Overlooking Asakusa at Dawn is one of the most famous examples. Conder himself commented on the painting on page 106 of his book cited above: