Publisher - Adachi from a rare series of Edo masterwork designs. Adachi publisher seal in margin or on reverse.
Adachi was one of the most respected publishers of the 20th century. Their woodblocks were printed to the highest standards with excellent color and fine detail. Founded in 1925, Adachi also chose interesting and varied subjects for their prints and was the only publisher of many famous old ukiyo-e images.
Kamiya Jihei and Kinokuniya Koharu - Handsome double portrait from Utamaro’s esteemed series of famous young lovers. The courtesan Kinokuniya Koharu fell in love with Kamiya Jihei, a married paper merchant, who returned her affections. After receiving a letter from Jihei's wife, urging to her to stop the affair, Koharu and Jihei decide to commit lover's suicide rather than be parted. In this farewell scene, Jihei soberly blows out the flame of a paper lantern, Koharu pressed close to his side, smiling slightly as she knows they will be together forever. She wears a sheer black veil, beautifully rendered in a translucent tone over her face. A poignant image of these tragic lovers.
Woodblock reprints - In the 20th century, artists and publishers collaborated to recreate famous woodblock prints for interested Japanese collectors and Westerners looking for rare designs. New blocks were made, and the prints were painstakingly printed by artisan printers in the same method as the 19th century originals - one block for each color. Woodblock reprints were an opportunity to collect and enjoy a famous design at a small fraction of the price of an original. They still are today.
Artist - Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Image Size - 15 1/4" x 10" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.