Kotondo

Torii Kotondo

1900-1976

Plum Blossoms at Night
(Yoru no ume)

signed within the composition at lower left, Kotondo ga, the title on the bottom margin, Yoru no ume, published by Ikeda Tomizo, 1934

dai oban tate-e 17 5/8 by 11 1/2 in., 44.8 by 29.3 cm

The publisher Ikeda Tomizo began producing an unititled set of twelve limited edition bijin prints by Kotondo in November 1931, completing the last two designs, including this one, in 1934. In spite of producing some of Kotondo's most important prints (including the iconic Morning Hair), there is little known about the Ikeda publishing house. This design is one of the more scarce Ikeda prints, and what few impressions that are published feature a completely black background. This unnumbered variant impression appears to be a test print of a subtle grey gradating background.

References:
Masao Takashima, Torii Kotondo, Gallery Beniya, Japan, 1995, p. 16, no. 7 (black variant)
Exhibition of Torii Kotondo, the 100th Anniversary of his Birth, The Works of Torii Kiyotada VIII, Ota Memorial Museum of Art, 2000, p. 48, no. 99 (black variant)
Reigle Newland, Amy, and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th Century Prints of Japanese Beauties, 2000, p. 139, no. 186-2
Andreas Marks, Seven Masters: 20th Century Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Wells Collection, pp. 188-189 (on Ikeda prints); and p. 263 (listed)

price: $8,500

kikumon

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