7064 A wood and polychrome painted sculpture painted in colour of a seated bijin (beauty) looking down at a kōro (incense burner) held within the folds of her kimono. The kimono is decorated with various patterns emulating kanoko shibori (Japanese tie-dye)
Signed: Nakatani Gankō
Entitled: Kaori (lit. fragrance)
Japan 20th century Taishō period
Dimensions: H. 23¼”x W. 26¼” x D.17¾” (59cm x 66.5cm x 44.5cm)
Nakatani Gankō (1868-1937)
Born in Hiroshima, he moved to Osaka in 1873 and studied ukio-e painting under Suzuki Toshimoto (dates unknown) and sculpture under his father Nakatani Shyōko (d. 1912). In 1893 he moved to Tokyo and entered the artistic circle of Takeuchi Kyūichi (1857-1916) and exhibited his work at the Chicago International Expo in the same year.
He exhibited regularly throughout his career at Teiten (the Imperial Fine Art Exhibition), Nihon Bijutsu Kyōkai (Japan Art Association) and Kyoto Bijutsu Kyōkai (Kyoto Art Association) winning numerous prizes. He was also a member of both the Tokyo and Kyoto Chyōkōkai (Sculpture Association).
Nakatani was best known for his painted wood sculptures of bijin (beauties) and his use of mineral pigments for their elaborately decorated robes.
This piece is illustrated in a retrospective catalogue entitled Nakatani Ganko Sakuhinsyu (the Concise Works of Nakatani Ganko), 1971, pl. 29.