Ito Shinsui 伊東深水: Lip Rouge (Kuchibeni)
Artist: Itō Shinsui (1898-1972)
Title: Lip Rouge (Kuchibeni) from the series Twelve Forms of New Beauties 新美人十二姿
Date: 1922, October
A beauty’s expression is focused as she carefully dips her finger into a jar of rouge, and returns her hand to her lips for its application. There is mica in the collar of her robe, and just a hint of blindprinting on her lower lip. The hair and face have been printed with great subtlety. With the seal indicating that this is publisher’s sample verso and recto, lower left. Pre-earthquake design. As Lawrence Smith wrote in 1994:
“This series (1922-3) was the most important produced by the young Shinsui for Watanabe before the 1923 earthquake and fire, which destroyed the blocks and existing stocks of prints. Those done after the resumption of production rarely recaptured the tactile quality of printing.... A thicker paper was also used by the publisher Watanabe for these pre-earthquake works.”
Condition: Very good impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: 42.7 x 25.6 cm
Publisher: Watanabe Shozaburo
Literature: “Seven Masters’, plate 61. Tadasu Watanabe, Ito Shinsui: All the Woodblock Prints, 1992, p. 63, pl. 36. Reigle Newland, Amy, and Hamanaka Shinji, The female image: 20th century prints of Japanese beauties, 2000, p. 54, pl. 33.
Signature: Shinsui ga