Itō Shinsui 伊東深水: Kuchi-e of a Beauty in Profile in the Rain

  • Sold.

Artist: Itō Shinsui 伊東深水
Title: Beauty Holding a Powder Brush
Date: ca. 1910s-20s

A woman looks downcast, her face shown in profile and her hand seeming to be reaching up through her kimono to dab at her face. This work brings to mind a very famous design by this artist from 1917, “Rain Shower in the Sun.”This work would have been included with a magazine (kuchi-e), hence the folds for insertion. It would have illustrated a serialized novel in a magazine, so we can feel the sadness that must have been present at one point in the story.  The Japanese at the time used several types of offset and lithographic printing as well as a combination of these; this work seems to have been created using offset lithography, a combination of the two processes. Shinsui’s powers of composition and design are are strong as every in these prints, which are extremely affordable compared to his Taisho era limited-edition woodblock prints, which easily run into the five figures.

Condition:Very good impression, color and condition. The usual kuchi-e folds. Some toning, as is usual with this paper.
Dimensions: 35 x 19 cm
Literature: See Kendall Brown’s “Dangerous Beauties and Dutiful Wives, Popular Portraits of Women in Japan, 1905-1925” for a discussion of similar kuchi-e as well as the printing techniques.
Signature: Shinsui