Friedrich (Fritz) Capelari, (Austrian, 1884-1950)
Woman Before a Mirror
Color woodblock print. With artist's monogram, FC, followed by Tokyo 1915, and artist's name in hiragana on the fan in the foreground, Kaperari. Published by Watanabe Shôzaburô.
41 by 17.9 cm
While the subject of a single standing beauty in an interior, particularly before a mirror, is classically Japanese, their expressions are not. The girl with the Pekingese looks bored, and the beauty before the mirror actually looks a bit irritated as she glances over her shoulder. This is a foreign element. Traditional Japanese depictions of beauties are more mysterious; usually we, the viewer, assume the role of unseen voyeur. Here, the beauty seems well aware of our intrusion.
Although he was happy with his collaborations with Capelari, Watanabe needed something more 'Japanese' for both his export and domestic market. He approached another young artist, Hashiguchi Goyô (1880-1921), one of the top graduates of the Tôkyô Bijutsu Gakkô (Tokyo School of Fine Arts). Here was a Japanese artist who was trained in Western-style painting, who happened to be a very serious student of classical ukiyo-e (having written monographs about three important artists). Watanabe convinced Goyô to collaborate on a single print of a beauty in 1915, but apparently Goyô, trained in the Western style with emphasis on individual creativity, was not comfortable with working with a publisher (perhaps Watanabe in particular) and opted to go his own way and self-publish thereafter.
Merritt, Points of Contrast, 1993, pp. 32-35, no. 6, and p. 63
The New Wave, 1993, pp. 45-56 and pp. 209-210, pl. 284
Yokohama Museum of Art, Eyes Towards Asia: Ukiyo-e Artists from Abroad, 1996, p. 67, no. 71-a
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm for no more than two individuals at a time.
In order to adhere to New York State guidelines visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
site last updated
September 22, 2020
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
Join our mailing list...