Geisha and Servant
signed Terukata with artist's seal Kazan, published by Akiyama Buemon of Kokkeido in 1903
oban yoko-e 9 7/8 by 14 5/8 in., 25 by 37.3 cm
An elegant geisha stands at the threshold of a teahouse accompanied by a servant, the long neck of her shamisen wrapped in green cloth is visible in his left hand. Sher turns to her right, glancing towards the glow of light emanating from the latticed window. She wears a subdued brown kimono secured by a yellow obi decorated with a pattern of swirling blue water.
Ikeda Terukata was a student in the school of Mizuno Toshikata (1866-1908) from 1895, where he met Ikeda Shoen (1888-1917), a fellow student who would become his wife in 1911. Terukata and Shoen were a part of a circle of artists, including Kaburagi Kiyokata (1878-1972), who at the turn of the 20th century produced mostly bijinga in commercial prints or kuchi-e (frontispiece illustrations) in a manner more idealized and romantic than the raunchy leanings of earlier ukiyo-e.
Over a period of approximately a dozen years beginning in 1897, the publisher Akiyama Buemon of Kokkeido, and Matsuki Heikichi of Daikoku-ya, issued several horizontal bijin series of this type, sold individually or in orihon (folding albums) once the series was completed. The sentimental portrayals of women were among the few single-sheet woodblock print series in production by the end of the Meiji period (1868-1912). This series of fifteen prints, Brocade of Edo (Edo no nishiki), completed and released in an album dated Meiji 36 (1903), seems to have been the inspiration for (or inspired by) a similarly titled and formatted series, Edo Brocades (Edo nishiki), designed by Toyohara Chikanobu (1838-1912) and published by Matsuki Heikichi of Daikoku-ya in 1903-1904. On the dated title page with table of contents that accompanied the series in album format, the publisher explains that he was motivated to produce this series "to discover new things by studying the past."
Amy Reigle Newland, and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th Century Prints of Japanese Beauties, 2000, p. 209 (artist's biography)
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Louis W. Hill collection, accession no. 96.146.157A (album with title page dated Meiji 36 )
(inv. no. C-3208)
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site last updated
December 2, 2021
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