Chaleur de printemps
Soie, Encre, Couleurs - Pigments
H. 144.7 x l. 57 cm
A cat dozes under the wisteria in flower while her kittens fight for space at her belly. Butterflies attracted by the blossoms flitter around the tree, animating the composition. The painting is notable for its extreme delicacy and the precision of its motifs: the rendering of the cats’ fur, the subtle hues of the flowers, the toothed dandelion leaves, the delicate lines of the butterfly wings. These details contrast with the flowing lines of the gnarled tree trunk executed in the “boneless” technique. This work representative of the Nihonga movement (painting in traditional Japanese style) follows on from the realism of the Edo period Maruyama-Shijō school with a new aesthetic influenced by Western painting of the late 19th century.
Kawabata Gyokushō was a teacher at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts from 1889 to 1912, and then taught drawing from nature at the school bearing his name (Kawabata gakkō).