Ishii Hakutei: Akasaka Geisha (SOLD)

  • Sold.

Artist: Ishii Hakutei 石井柏亭
Title: Akasaka Beauty
Series: Twelve Views of Tokyo  東京十二景
Date: 1914-1917

We see a young geisha with a dragon-patterned obi about to enter a room, standing next to a sliding door. The entrance serves as a terrific framing device around her. At right is an inset cartouche that shows a snowy hill that must be part of Akasaka. This work is interesting in its use of blank space as part of the design. The artist wrote in a 1910 advertisement for this series “The publishing of Tokyo junikei represents a move back to the original features of a Japanese woodblock print”, as a way to revitalize the traditional bijin-ga of ukiyo-e. This work predates the forthcoming wave of bijin-ga by the shin hanga masters Shinsui and Kotondo and their contemporaries.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: oban (39.5 x 26 cm)
Signature: Hakutei   Publisher: Yanagiya-shoten, Seikado

References: Kato, Junzo, comp., Kindai Nihon hanga taikei, 1975-76, Vol. I, no. 23. Reigle Stephens, Amy, gen. ed., The new wave: Twentieth-century Japanese prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, 1993, p. 138, no. 147. Reigle Newland, Amy, and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th century prints of Japanese beauties, 2000, p. 36, no. 7. See National Museum of Asian Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art.