Koson 小原古邨: Flowering Plum and Moon (First Edition) (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Ohara Kōson (1877-1945)
Title: Flowering Plum and Full Moon
Date: ca. 1905-1910

A flowering plum stretches across our view of a full moon, the petals dropping as we watch, white against the evening sky. Evocative and somehow quite dramatic, this design is unusual in Koson's oeuvre in that it does not include birds, insects or animals. This is the scarce first edition, published before 1911; compare the blocks with the example shown in “Crows, Cranes and Camellias (page 134, number 130). The grey in the sky block is softly attenuated and one can see the woodgrain clearly; the branch and the flowers have more depth and the printing is much finer and more sensitive overall than the later edition.  These early editions also lack the larger top and side margins. The later edition was probably sponsored by Robert Mueller in the early 1930s or so, and although the designs are the same, the blocks are clearly different. The subject of a flowering plum with a full moon was a popular motif for Japanese painters; the plum blossoms symbolized the arrival of spring as well as the trait of perseverance. 

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. 
Dimensions: 33.2 x 18.4 cm
Literature:  Crows, Cranes and Camellias (2010), K 43.2 and catalog number 130, page 134. See Freer/Sackler.
Publisher: Daikokuya (?)
Seal: Koson
Signature: Koson