by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Series; Five Shades of Ink in the Northern Quarter
Spring Collection: Rare Taisho era Takamizawa prints
Takamizawa's Taisho era Reprints - With the increase in Western visitors to Japan in the first quarter of the 20th century and the interest in the Edo era woodblock print tradition, some of the best publishing houses began to release high quality reprints of the most famous ukiyo-e designs. Founded in 1911, the Takamizawa Publisher of Tokyo produced some of the highest quality ukiyo-e woodblock reprints of all time. Drawing on the traditions and methods of the Edo era, the company created reprints with the utmost care and great attention to detail, masterfully reproducing color, line work, and even wood grain detail in some cases.
This print was published during the Taisho era (1911 - 1925), and features a Takamizawa seal on the reverse. Takamizawa's Taisho era prints are considered to be some of the finest reprints ever done. Today, these lovely old prints are sought after by collectors. This is a fantastic early release by Takamizawa and a great choice for a collector interested in classic ukiyo-e images.
Gun Prostitute - A classic Utamaro portrait of a prostitute with a handkerchief in her mouth, her kimono having fallen away from her bare breasts. A well-known Utamaro subject. Soft color and fine detail in the hairline.
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 - 14 7/8" x 10" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Light toning, a few spots, faint diagonal crease at corners. Please see photos for details. Good overall.