Kiyochika 小林: Summer Moon at Imado 今戸夏月

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Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika 小林清親  (1847-1915)

Title: Summer Moon at Imado 今戸夏月    Date: 1881 

We are privy to an intimate moment as a woman tunes her shamisen, her face serene with the expression of one listening carefully for just the exact pitch. Perhaps it feels so intimate because the model for this print is apparently Kiyochika’s own wife. Next to her is a different scene, that of a full moon rising with an orange glow above the trees that line the river outside her her window. What strikes the viewer is the pink glow of the bright, modern lantern at right, and the way it casts her shadow and contrasts with the natural light of the moon outside. Kiyochika was a master of the emotional effects that the lightspeed modernization of Japan had on its citizens, especially as they adjusted to the new forms of lighting that transformed their way of life. The composition of this design is flawless, and there are numerous color variations that were published, but this dealer finds this combination of colors, including the grey sky, to be the most evocative and effective. 

Condition: Excellent impression and color. Very good condition. Soft crease in right margin. With lovely woodgrain in the sky. Dimensions: ôban (23 x 34 cm)
Signature: Kobayashi Kiyochika

References: Shizuoka Mus., Kobayashi Kiyochika (exh. cat., 1998), #41; Smith, Kiyochika (exh. cat., Santa Barbara, 1988), #47; Ukiyo-e taikei 12 (1976), #90; Yoshida, Kiyochika (1964), #32. See MFA, British Museum, Chazen, Honolulu Museum of Art collections.

SKU: KYC474