Distant View of the Comet (Hôki o haruka ni miru zu): The Great Comet of 1882

「彗星遥見図」

Japanese
Meiji era
1882 (Meiji 15), October 7
Artist Nakamura Fusetsu (Japanese, 1866–1943)


Dimensions

Vertical ôban; 37 x 25.2 cm (14 9/16 x 9 15/16 in.)

Accession Number

11.38608

Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

One of the brightest comets ever seen, the Great Comet of 1882 was clearly visible to the naked eye in September 1882. The term for “comet,” written with characters meaning “broom star,” is usually read “suisei” in modern Japanese but is glossed as “hôki” in the text on this print.

Signed

Artist and publisher: Nishikubo Masu
西久保升

Provenance

By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850–d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 19, 2005)

NOTES:
[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection