Ito Shinsui, 1898-1972

Twelve Images of Modern Beauties: Rouge
(Shin bijin junisugata: Kuchibeni)

dated and signed at upper left, Taisho juichinen jugatsu, Shinsui ga (Taisho 11 [1922], 10th month, Shinsui) with artist's red rectangular seal Ito; the round publisher's seal, Watanabe, at lower left corner; with hand-numbered limited edition seal verso, Nihyaku mai kagiri zeppan, dai ichi-ni-go ban (200 limited edition, number 125), 1922

dai oban tate-e 16 7/8 by 10 in., 42.8 by 25.5 cm.

This bijin-ga series, issued in limited editions of 200, was an ambitious project (both artistically and financially). With the possible exception of one design (which Shinsui experimented with carving the blocks himself), the complete set was a remarkable achievement. Each design stands alone as a singular work of art, exemplifying the talent of the artist as well as the skill of the contributing artisans and the guiding hand of the publisher. The success of the series must have convinced Watanabe to concentrate Shinsui on producing bijin-ga subjects, a genre for which he became famous, particularly outside of Japan to the shin-hanga collectors in the Europe and America.

Kato, Junzo, comp., Kindai Nihon hanga taikei, 1975-76, Vol. 1, pl. 185
Tadasu Watanabe, Ito Shinsui: All the Woodblock Prints, 1992, p. 63, pl. 36
Reigle Newland, Amy, and Hamanaka Shinji, The female image: 20th century prints of Japanese beauties, 2000, p. 54, pl. 35
Nihon no hanga III 1921-1930, Toshi to onna to hikari to kage to (Japanese Prints III, 1921-1930: Cities and Women, Lights and Shadows), Chiba City Museum of Art, 2001, p. 36, pl. 2-5
Ukiyo-e Modern, Machida Shiritsu Kokusai Hanga Bijyutsukan, 2005


verso seal


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