Hiroshige, Kacho-e of a Mejiro on a Persimmon

Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) Kacho-e of a Japanese White-eye (Mejiro) on a Persimmon, 1832.

A Japanese White-eye (Mejiro bird) clings delicately to a dangling persimmon branch.This delightful print is from a genre known as kacho-e, popularised by Hokusai, but common in Japanese painting since the seventeenth century. The subject matter of kacho-e is always birds or flowers and Hiroshige who saw himself as a successor to the great Hokusai, was a sensitive and highly skilled exponent of the genre.

This series of prints illustrated poems by the great Japanese poet Hajintei Kotaki. Here his poem is signed by him as Jintei and reads:

It is time to go to admire the moonlight.
Everyone covets the persimmon
so do not waste time removing the tannin.

This is a very pretty print. It is slightly trimmed and the paper has yellowed a little, but the impression and colour are very fine. A copy sold recently at auction for €3,600 in a very similar condition.

Signed: Hiroshige hitsu and stamp Ichiryusai.