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Album of Letters and Sketches, with Poet Portrait as frontispiece (28 pages)

Accession Number
1968/2.55

Title
Album of Letters and Sketches, with Poet Portrait as frontispiece (28 pages)

Artist(s)
Sakai Hôitsu

Object Creation Date
circa 1800-1828

Medium & Support
album, ink, color and gold leaf on paper

Dimensions
17 11/16 in x 11 3/4 in (44.93 cm x 29.85 cm);2 1/4 in x 18 7/8 in x 12 13/16 in (5.7 cm x 48 cm x 32.5 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy

Sakai Hōitsu
Japan, 1761–1828
Album of Letters and Sketches: Mt. Fuji
Edo period (1615–1868)
ca. 1800–28
Album, ink, color, and gold leaf on paper Museum purchase, 1968/2.55

Originally trained in Edo (modern-day Tokyo) in the style of the Kanō School—the official painting school endorsed by the ruling military class—Hōitsu soon began to produce ukiyo-e (meaning “pictures of the floating world”), excelling in depictions of beautiful women. After moving to Kyoto in his thirties and becoming a Buddhist priest, he became interested in the abstracted depictions of plants and birds in the work of Ogata Kōrin (1658–1716). This sketch representing Mount Fuji with a single continuous line was likely made under the influence of Kōrin’s style. Though Hōitsu lived in Kyoto at this point, this sketch shows his connection to his hometown of Edo.

This twenty-seven leaf album contains letters, drafts of poems, and sketches by Sakai Hōitsu. The letters help us understand the everyday concerns of a painter’s life in the later Edo period (1615–1868).



Subject matter
This twenty-seven leaf album contains letters, drafts of poems, and some sketches by Sakai Hôitsu. Many of the letters are addressed to his assistants, giving them detailed painting instructions, sometimes with sketches, and reminding them of their deadlines.

Physical Description
An album of 28 pages. Cover is brown with a faded image at the center, possibly of leaves on an off-white background. The inside of the album primarily contains hand-written text, though some of the text has faded images in the background, and some of the pages are completely images. The first page depicts a seated man in formal attire. and across from him is a seperate painting of a landscape with green mountains. Other images contained within are of various topics with various colors and styles.

Primary Object Classification
Bound Work

Primary Object Type
book

Additional Object Classification(s)
Painting

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Birds
Figures
Japan
Mount Fuji
album leaf
albums
bamboo
calligraphy
cherry tree
deer
designs (concepts)
fans (costume accessories)
flowers
gold
grasses
lutes
mountains
ocean
pines
poetry
sketches
trees
waves
willows

3 Related Resources

Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)
CRC Classroom Resource: Art Books 
(Part of: CRC Classroom Resources)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved