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Subject:Oil on canvas painting of Asian Couple
Posted By: John Fosket Fri, Nov 17, 2017 IP:

I need some advice and help on interpreting the signature or inscription on the painting. Is there a name of the artist? Is there a title of the painting? Is there a date of the painting in the inscription? Is it Japanese or Chinese? I posted before but I got no response so I am posting again to see if I can get some help. Thank you in advance. I am attaching pics of both the painting and the inscription and the back of the painting.

Subject:Re: Oil on canvas painting of Asian Couple
Posted By: Miano Sun, Nov 26, 2017

Hello Martin,

I wouldn't attribute this to a Chinese artist. From my view which I shall support with 3 aspects, I believe it's a Japanese artist from the late 19 century (towards the turn of the 20th century). I base this on the following 3 things;

1.) The painting has a frame which is characteristic of Japanese western styled painting. The frames are easy to identify since they are made a soft wood which patinates with age. Importantly, at the back of the canvas you see the mitre joint which is consistent with French artwork. The frames normally have an Auricular Styled carving/s, which might be explained by the rise in interest of Western styled paintings by the Japanese at this time. Think how impressionism was very famous among the Japanese, with Monet dedicating many paintings to his Japanese friends/students.

2.)The back side of the canvas is typical of Japanese paintings which have a mid-cross section support bar. The darkened color of the canvas is sometimes mistaken for age in Japanese paintings, but this is due to most of the canvases are made of a linen component. Naturally, this is darker than cotton. I thus conclude that the frame is of the period. Virtually all period decorative frames consist of two or more separate frames built up to obtain the final width. Typical construction as seen in the back of a typical old frame.
1. back side of canvas;
2. wood frame or stretcher which supports canvas;
3. inner middle crossectional frame (typical with Japanese Paintings);
4. outer decorative frame.

A reproduction frame would appear as a single continuous piece. This one is not a single continuous piece. These photos illustrate what I mean.

3.) Subject Matter:

The couple seem to be pertaking in the Japanese traditional tea drinking ceremony. Specifically the kettle and cup used is typical of Japan.



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