Ghost and Oil Lamp

Ghost and Oil Lamp

1810

Bun'ichi Tani

(Japanese, 1787-1818)

Hanging scroll, ink, color, and gold on silk

Painting only: 109.2 x 48.9 cm (43 x 19 1/4 in.); Including mounting: 187.3 x 65.4 cm (73 3/4 x 25 3/4 in.)

Kelvin Smith Fund 1992.71

Description

Tani Bun’ichi was the adopted son of Tani Buncho (1763-1840), a master painter and connoisseur. A Bun’ichi painting remarkably similar to this one that depicts a ghost by a lacquer lamp stand, is in the collection the Tokyo temple Zensho-an. That painting once belonged to Sanyutei Encho (1839-1900), a famed raconteur of ghost stories who donated his collection of ghost paintings to the temple. An inscription in gold on the lamp stand in this painting, identical in content to that on the Zensho-an painting, indicates that it was executed in the 12th month of 1810. Bun’ichi explains that he did not like painting ghosts, but tried it out after listening to a person by the name of Ono.

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