Woman Holding a Tray
a portrait of the waitress Onao holding a red lacquer tray and seated against a dark grey mica ground, privately published, dated and signed, Taishô kyunen ichigatsu (Taishô 9 , January), Goyo ga, with circular artist's seal Goyo/
dai oban tate-e 16 3/8 by 11 in., 41.5 by 27.9 cm
All of Goyo’s self-published prints adhered to a classical ukiyo-e aesthetic, without the modern stylizations (such as baren swirls) favored by Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962), most notably, all of the bijin (beauty) subjects are printed with expensive mica backgrounds. This was actually a technical feat at the time- the use of all mica backgrounds was nearly a lost art. Before Watanabe attempted it in 1917 on a Shinsui print titled Haru (‘Spring’) with problematic results, the last time mica background had been used on a full-sized print was over 100 years earlier. Goyo and the printers he worked with in his studio appear to have solved the problem with his bijin-ga; this is the only example where he chose a dark mica background.
Katô, Junzô, comp., Kindai Nihon hanga taikei, 1975-76, Vol. I, pl. 93
Reigle Stephens, Amy, gen. ed., The new wave: Twentieth-century Japanese prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, 1993, p. 128, pl. 130
D'Hauterives, Arnaud, La nouvelle vague: L'estampe japonaise de 1868-1939 dans la Collection Robert O. Muller, Musée Marmottan, Institute de France, Académie des Beaux-Arts, 1994, p. 48, pl. 79
Reigle Newland, Amy, and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th century prints of Japanese beauties, 2000, p. 41, pl. 14
Zehnder, Amanda T., Modern Japanese Prints: The Twentieth Century, Carnegie Museum of Art, 2009, p. 36
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 preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.
site last updated
July 23, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
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