A lovely and delicate print of an orchid, executed in an almost painterly fashion, speaking to the skills and dedication of Zuigetsu Ikeda.
The Woodblock Print
This oban/large oban-sized woodblock is in fine condition; the print has striking color and detail but with some minor discoloration lines along the edges, but unsure if this is part of the print or a flaw in this individual piece. There is some residue of glue to the front margins, but limited to the margins. A generally clean verso with some toning.
About the Artist
Not much is known about Zuigetsu Ikeda in the literature.
Born in Kanazawa, Zuigetsu Ikeda (瑞月池田, 1877 to 1944) was a zealous fancier of plants who devoted his life to sketching them in all over Japan. His existence has not been known in detail until recently, as he did not seek success and notoriety in art circles and focused his work in sketching plants against vanishing nature. His main works are 14 scrolls sketches that compiled his sketches of plants over thirty years and original paintings for Rankafu, an orchid florilegium.
In the medium of woodblocks, he is primarily known for a limited edition (300 copies each) portfolio of exquisite woodblock prints based on the paintings he made of the extensive orchid collection that Kaga Shotaro had bred at his Villa Oyamazaki in the 1930s.