Taki Katei is celebrated for his delicate ink paintings of birds and flowers made during the Meiji era in Japan.

Katei studied in Tokyo (then called Edo) and spent more than 10 years travelling around northern Japan before returning to Tokyo in 1866. There he established himself as a fashionable artist. In 1893 he was awarded the accolade of Imperial Household Artist.

This pair of silk scroll paintings illustrates common themes in his work. One shows a close-up view of a lotus pond, with three blooms at different stages of growth. The other shows stalks of bamboo, with mist drifting above. The scrolls may have formed part of a group, possibly as part of a screen.

National Museums Scotland has a growing collection of Japanese scroll paintings, and these examples of Katei’s flower studies now join them there.


Purchased by the vendor from a private collection in Kyoto, Japan in 2009.

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