Japanese Art - $500 (Anchorage)

Japanese Art 1 thumbnailJapanese Art 2 thumbnailJapanese Art 3 thumbnailJapanese Art 4 thumbnail
condition: like new
Please make an acceptable offer for both professionally framed artwork imported directly from Japan. These artworks are rare and valuable, often found in museums worldwide. James Michener donated one of these to the Hawaii Museum.

Torii Kiyonaga (1752-1815)
Circa, 1784
Woodblock print diptych; ink and color on paper

1. Enjoying the Evening Cool on the Banks of the Sumida River

Color woodblock-printed triptych. Picnic on the beach: Young men and women of daimyo class serving sake from a lacquered picnic set on the beach; fishermen bring their catch in the background.

2. The Seventh Month Evening Send-Off, from the series Twelve Months in the South

This magnificent diptych is often considered to mark Kiyonaga’s zenith. Atypically, the artist has eliminated background elements (aside from a gate identifying Kaiunji Temple, which enshrines the hearth deity Sentai Kōjin) in favor of beautifully printed gradations of dark gray to provide a night setting. This focuses the viewer’s attention entirely on the figures. Building on the compositional techniques of Koryūsai (whose series Models for Fashion Kiyonaga concluded around the same time), the subjects are portrayed in carefully arranged poses, organized into stable, pyramidal groupings. Unlike Koryūsai, though, there is a considerably more significant sense of interaction between them, from which much of the interest in the design derives.

A courtesan and her attendants (on the left) escort a handsome young client after his appointment. However, his attention has been drawn to another courtesan on the right, resulting in dramatic tension, the intense emotions conveyed through various gazes and facial expressions with great subtlety. The “south” of the title refers to the unlicensed brothel district of Shinagawa, explaining why the courtesans have their obi tied in the back, unlike the courtesans of the Yoshiwara, whose status as prostitutes was indicated by tying their obi in the front.

post id: 7752588890



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