This site requires that you enable Javascript to function properly Scholten Japanese Art | Woodblock Prints | Kobayashi Kiyochika Flower Designs: The Kyoho Period
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Kiyochika
Kobayashi Kiyochika, 1847-1915
Flower Designs: The Kyoho Period
(Hana moyo: Kyoho nengo)

signed Kiyochika with artist's seal Kiyochika,, publisher's date seal Meiji nijukyu-toshi, kyu-tsuki, yoka-nichi (Meiji 29 [1896], 9th month, 4th day) of Sawamuraya Seikichi of Seieido
oban tate-e triptych 14 3/4 by 28 7/8 in., 37.5 by 73.3 cm
This print is from the first and only bijin series designed by Kiyochika, perhaps at the behest of the publisher in response to a commercial market where bijin were in high demand. The ten triptychs placed a bust-portrait of a beauty in the extreme foreground against a background depicting an historical era. This composition is set in the Kyoho period (1716-1736), a time of relative peace and prosperity initiated following the death of the young Tokugawa Ietsugu (1709-1716) who was only a toddler when he assumed the title of Shogun in 1713. Here, a courtesan grips a folded bundle of tissues in her mouth as ties her obi and looks over her shoulder at figures walking about on a misty evening.
References:
Henry D. Smith II, Kiyochika: Artist of Meiji Japan, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1988, pp. 98-101 (re: series)
British museum (britishmuseum.org), museum no. 1906,1220,0.1641.1-3
price: $ 900