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Swallow and Peony

Watanabe Seitei was a versatile artist who, while famous for bird and flower paintings like the one shown here, also created designs for prints, textiles, cloisonné, and printed books. The son of a shipping merchant, Watanabe was apprenticed to work in a pawn shop, but his talent as an artist soon led him to study not only with the most prominent painters of the Meiji period in Japan, but also to Paris, where he studied for three years—making him the first in his generation to study abroad. He showed his work regularly in Japan and in the West and was avidly collected at home and overseas.

Watanabe Seitei
Japanese, 1851‒1918
Swallow and Peony
19th century
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
43 1/8 x 16 in. (109.5 x 40.6 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Purchased with funds from the Thomas T. Solley Endowed Fund for Curator of Asian Art and a gift from Marsha French (IU class of 1979) and Thomas French in memory of Dr. Thomas Kuebler, 2012.62