Goyo

Hashiguchi Goyo, 1880-1921

Woman Holding a Tray

a portrait of the waitress Onao holding a red lacquer tray and seated against a dark grey mica ground, privately published, dated and signed, Taisho kyunen ichigatsu (Taisho 9 [1920], January), Goyo ga, with circular artist's seal Goyo

dai oban tate-e 16 3/8 by 11 in., 41.5 by 27.9 cm

All of Goyo's self-published prints adhered to a classical ukiyo-e aesthetic, without the modern stylizations (such as baren swirls) favored by Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962), most notably, all of the bijin (beauty) subjects are printed with expensive mica backgrounds. This was actually a technical feat at the time- the use of all mica backgrounds was nearly a lost art. Before Watanabe attempted it in 1917 on a Shinsui print titled Haru ('Spring') with problematic results, the last time mica background had been used on a full-sized print was over 100 years earlier. Goyo and the printers he worked with in his studio appear to have solved the problem with his bijin-ga; this is the only example where he chose a dark mica background.

References:
Kato, Junzo, comp., Kindai Nihon hanga taikei, 1975-76, Vol. I, pl. 93
Reigle Stephens, Amy, gen. ed., The new wave: Twentieth-century Japanese prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, 1993, p. 128, pl. 130
D'Hauterives, Arnaud, La nouvelle vague: L'estampe japonaise de 1868-1939 dans la Collection Robert O. Muller, Musée Marmottan, Institute de France, Académie des Beaux-Arts, 1994, p. 48, pl. 79
Reigle Newland, Amy, and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th century prints of Japanese beauties, 2000, p. 41, pl. 14
Zehnder, Amanda T., Modern Japanese Prints: The Twentieth Century, Carnegie Museum of Art, 2009, p. 36

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