Elective Affinities IX

by Nandia Foteini Vlachou


Granted, Japanese woodblock prints are not the first thing that comes to mind when one considers the paintings of roosters by Portuguese painter Moura Girão (1840-1916), one of the ‘naturalists’ of the Grupo do Leão. But the association here was immediate, to the point that it had me wondering about the reception of contemporary (nineteenth-century) Japanese prints in Portugal. A path worth pursuing, perhaps?

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Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831–1889), A True Picture of the Fierce Live Tiger Never Seen from the Past to the Present, 1860. Color woodblock print; 14 x 9 ¾ NYC – from the Japan Society exhibition “Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection” (Mar 13 – Jun 7, 2015)

moura girao

Moura Girão, A Rooster, signed and dated 1885, oil on wood, 28.5 x 18.7 cm, Museu de José Malhoa, Caldas da Rainha (photo © José Pessoa, 1997)