JAPANESE PRINTS

A MILLION QUESTIONS

TWO MILLION MYSTERIES

 

Ukiyo-e Prints

浮世絵版画

Port Townsend, Washington

 

 

 

 

Keisai Eisen

渓斎英泉

けいさい.えいせん

1790-1848

 

 

Series Title: "The Seven Greatest Beauties of the New Yoshiwara"

"Shin Yoshiwara zen sei kenjin"

新吉原全盛七人

しんよしわらぜんせいしちけんじん

 

 

Subject:

Oiran with two kamuros

 

 

"The Courtesan Shiratama from the Tamaya House"

玉屋内白玉

たまやないしらたま

 

 

Publisher: Kawaguchi-ya Uhei

川口屋卯兵衛

かわぐちやうへい

 

 

Date:

Ca. 1820s

 

 

Size:

14 1/2" x 9 3/4"

 

 

SOLD!

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE
 

There are numerous illustrations found in catalogues of  different versions and/or editions of specific prints by Hiroshige. His "Sudden Shower at Atake" is a case in point. Variations in coloring, the view of  and treatment of the far shore, the use of bokashi, etc., all provide practical lessons in connoisseurship. I even own one catalogue in Japanese that gives side by side examples of Kuniyoshis from divergent printings. There can be nothing more instructive.

Great Western institutions like the Morgan Library in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts have mounted comprehensive exhibitions of Rembrandt prints which run the gamut from the first state of the first edition to the late and tired examples of the posthumous ones. There is a thrill which comes with the recognition of what makes one earlier and the other later. It hones the eye and intellect.

What makes this Eisen print so important to me is the fact that I was already offering the same image from the same blocks, but from an earlier edition. How can you tell? It isn't the colors. Coloring was often strengthened to compensate for the loss of fine detail. Therefore it has to do with the quality of line. Compare the lines of the faces of the kamuro on the right looking up at the courtesan in both prints. The lines of the face of the kamuro on this page seen above have begun to break down and lack the crispness of the example below. Another good gauge is found in a comparison of the border lines of the cartouche found in the upper right of each print. The differences are striking.

 
DOUBLE YOUR FUN

 

 

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