'Cypripedium Goliath,' from 'A Record of an Orchid Collection'

Accession Number

'Cypripedium Goliath,' from 'A Record of an Orchid Collection'

Ikeda Zuigetsu

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
color woodblock print on paper

19 1/8 in. x 12 5/8 in. ( 48.6 cm x 32 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Maurice Seevers

Label copy
Gallery Rotation Winter 2013
Ikeda Zuigetsu
Japan, 1877–1944
Cypripedium Goliath, from A Record of an Orchid Collection
Showa period (1926–1989)
Color woodblock print on paper
Gift of Mrs. Maurice Seevers, 1983/1.371.40

Subject matter
These woodblock prints are from the series Rankafu (A Record of an Orchid Collection), which was commissioned by adamant orchid cultivator and enthusiast Kaga Shôtarô during the early 20th century. Kaga had fallen in love with orchids years before in 1917 while mountaineering in Java. Due to the economic hardships placed on Japan after losing the Second World War, Kaga was concerned about the survival of his orchid collection in Kyoto at his Villa Oyamazaki, which at its peak had housed 10,000 plants. Kaga selected woodblock printing as the appropriate method to capture the memory of his orchids. He enlisted the skilled painter Ikeda Zuigetsu, to execute this momentous task. Ikeda created the drawings from which the woodblocks were carved. Sadly, Zuigetsu passed away in 1944 before the completion of the project, and due to Kaga’s falling fortune after the war, only 83 works were printed. Kaga managed to publish three hundred copies, many of which were sent to various scientific institutions such as botanical gardens and universities all over the world. Recently a reprint of the original edition has been released in Japan.

Physical Description
Yellow and white flower on a grey background. The bloom is in the upper right hand with a bud situated behind it. The base of the stem and the leaves are located on the bottom portion of the image.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
color print

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

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still lifes
woodcuts (prints)

2 Related Resources

PAST - Orchids 
(Part of: FFW Lower Level Study Cases     )
CURRENT - More Orchids
(Part of: FFW Lower Level Study Cases     )

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted