Painting of a Fantasy Dutchman (early 19th century)
Ink and colour on paper laid down on a paper scroll
184 x 64 cm (Scroll)
117 x 54.5 cm (Painting)
The scroll has, “Dutchman painting by Shiba Kokan” written in Japanese on the outside of the scroll in one hand, along with “Nagasaki Resident” in another hand. If this painting really is by Kokan, it would be a heretofore undiscovered work by him.
The “Dutchman” is standing in a fanciful environment of columns and tiles, with a Japanese clock hanging on the wall, painted in an attempt at a European perspective. He wears a large feathered hat, a Dutch plooikraag (neck-ruff), holding a spear and is carrying a (Japanese?) sword. His whole attire is very exotic, particularly his stockings, knee-caps and shoes. This “Dutchman” is a stranger indeed!