Shin Hanga Beauties (20th C 美人画)

Bijin-ga (美人画) are images of beautiful women, a theme that began with the earliest ukiyo-e artists more than 300 years ago. In the early 20th century, Japanese artists and publishers created a contemporary take on this classic theme. The women are more naturalistic and the printing represents the apogee of color woodblock printing in the 20th century. The most popular artists are Ito Shinsui, Torii Kotondo and Hashiguchi Goyo. Most were done in limited editions. When comparing works from this genre, it is critical to look for any signs of fading, especially in the pink of the skin.