Nakayama Shuko, b. 1876
Comparison of New Ukiyo-e Beauties: May, Early Summer Rain
(Shin ukiyo-e bijin awase: Gogatsu, Samidare)
signed Shuko, with artist's red oval seal, Shuko, the series title in the first cartouche on the upper right margin, Shin ukiyo-e bijin awase, the print title in the next cartouche, Go-gatsu, Samidare, followed by the artist's name, Nakayama Shuko ga hitsu, published by the Publication Society of Shin Ukiyo-e Bijin Awase, ca. 1918
dai oban tate-e 17 by 11 in., 43.2 by 28 cm
Nakyama Shuko was a bijin-ga painter in the early 1920s. Unfortunately, little else is known about her. There is another version of this print (most-likely later) which is missing the outline of the second cartouche, and shortens the print title to, Samidare (eliminating Gogatsu) which is written in hiragana instead of kanji.
This impression is accompanied by a small printed certificate attached to the verso with expanded publication information (and a longer series title): Gendai Hyaku Taike Kogou, Shin Ukiyo-e Bijin Awase: Gogatsu, Samidare (Brush Paintings of 100 Modern Masters, Collection of New Ukiyo-e Beauties: Fifth Month, Early Summer Rain), Nakayama Shuko gahaku hitsu (by Nakayama Shuko). A translation of the further text describes the artist, subject, and printing process:
Nakayama Shuko is respected for her skill of drawing attractive beauties and people from history. He won several prizes at exhibitions sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs and other respected exhibitions. The painting depicts a beauty with an umbrella who may be 28 or 29 years old in Tokyo on a rainy day among fresh green leaves. Her attractive appearance catches the attention of people passing by. The carver and printer made a great effort to make this print to reproduce the quality of the original painting. The hair and face required sixty printings, and overall the printer had to print 100 times to accurately reproduce the painting.
Tokyo-shi Asakusa-ku, Umamichi-cho 6-1
Shin Ukiyo-e Bijin Awase Kanko-sha
(Publication Society of Shin ukiyo-e bijin awase)
The publication of this series is usually credited to an otherwise unknown publisher named Murakami; however this label credits the Publication Society of Shin Ukiyo-e Bijin Awase. Perhaps the society was comprised of a group of artists collaborating to publish their own works which was run by a Mr. Murakami.
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