Seien Shima: The Departed Spirit of a Courtesan - Japanese Art Open Database

絵師: Seien Shima

作品名: The Departed Spirit of a Courtesan

日付: 1923

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情報源: Japanese Art Open Database
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画題等: Japanese Woodblock Print of a Ghost by Shima Seien (1893-1970). This superb image is one one of the most striking images in Japanese 20th. Century woodblock art. In the seminal work "The New Wave. 20th. Century Japanese prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection" London 1993, the print with accompanying text is accorded a whole page to itself (Pl. 208). We have reproduced the page and suggest viewers read the text. It is truly a remarkable and haunting image of "the departed spirit of a courtesan". The mauve scarf concealing part of the head in the centre of the print is a daring, original and wholly successful device which allows the red-rimmed eyes to peer around the scarf at the viewer. It comes as no surprise that this outstanding woman artist was a pupil of Kitano Tsunetomi. Designer of the celebrated "Heron Maiden" print of 1925 which is also a design classic. As with several other prints we are currently listing, the series of which this print is part, is now known to be "Dai Chikamatsu Zenshu" (The Great Collection of the Works of Chikamatsu) published around 1923. The size is 17 1/8 x 11 1/2 ins (43.5 x 29 cms). I bought it many years ago in a shabby little booksellers in Kyoto where is appeared to have been lying in the bargain tray for some time! Consequently the condition is not of the best! As can be clearly seen in the photos the lower 4 ins. Is dust soiled and there are a number of foxing spots around the lower centre of the image. Apart from this and a few slight creases in the paper, it is in sound condition. It is a fine impression with no fading. The details of the printer and block cutter are difficult to see in the photo being printed in very light pigment so as not to fight the design. Please note that this is an original printing NOT a facsimile or reprint.

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