Kotondo 鳥居言人: Combing the Hair 髪梳き (SOLD)

Torii Kotondo

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Artist: Torii Kotondo
Title: Combing the Hair (Kamisuki)
Date: 1929

A nude beauty applies a comb to her long tresses, the rounded contours of her body are given volume with soft pink and her outlines have been blindprinted with no pigment, in contrast with the baren-produced (baren-sujizuri ) texture of the background. She appears ethereal yet grounded. We assume that she is in a bath house, as the background seems misty and her pink glow the result of the steam. She seems very un self-conscious, so the viewer feels almost like a voyeur to a personal, intimate moment. Nudes are unusual in bijin-ga from this era, and this is one of only two nude print design created by Kotondo. The title is embossed at the bottom. Numbered 136 out of 200 on the paper seal, verso; this is from the first edition, published by Kawaguchi and Sakai in 1929. A second edition was printed by Kawaguchi in about 1930. Due to the design’s rarity and popularity there was a contemporary reprint created in the 2000s by a Japanese publisher, but it is to be considered an homage to this work. This example is in unusually fine condition, with no fading or toning; mint. In this specific print, the delicacy and perfection of the printing of the first edition is often superior to the printing of the second edition.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Publisher: Kawaguchi and Sakai
Literature: “The Female Image”, figure 170, page 128. Reigle, Amy, gen. ed., “The new wave: Twentieth-century Japanese prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection”, 1993, no. 264. Brown, Kendall; “Shin-Hanga, New Prints in Modern Japan”, 1996, p. 63, fig. 78. Reigle Newland, Amy, ed., Printed to Perfection: Twentieth-century Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 2004, no. 105.
Signature: Kotondo saku


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