Yoshitoshi 芳年: Looking Feminine: the Appearance of a ‘Castle-Topper’

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
Title:Looking Feminine: the Appearance of a ‘Castle-Topper’ of the Tempo era [1830-1844] しなやかさう 天保年間 傾城之風俗
Series: Thirty-two Types of Women (Fuzoku sanjû-ni sô)
Date: 1888

A high-ranking courtesan holds her own beneath layers of heavy brocade robes, her boldly-patterned obi tied in front in a huge bow. Her hair is styled in a high bow shape that echoes the tie of her obi, and many large tortoiseshell hair ornaments complete the more-is-more look. The title of “keisei”refers to a woman that is so beautiful that she has the power to bring even a great lord to his knees, a 'castle-topper’. With the three-colored cartouche that indicates an early (”first”) edition.

Condition: Excellent color and condition; very good impression. Untrimmed and unbacked.
Dimensions: ôban (37 x 25.3 cm)
Publisher: Tsunashima Kamekichi
Literature: See John Stevenson’s “Yoshitoshi’s Women: The Woodblock Print Series “Fuzoku Sanjuniso””, Avery Press (1986) number 10. Keyes 1983, p. 482, no. 503.12. Segi 1985, p. 92, no. 103.10; van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 139, no. 63.10; Akita Museum of Modern of Art 1999, p. 46, no. 199. Seigle 2004, p. 12; Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2009, p. 12, no. 1.10
Signature: Yoshitoshi