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Scholten Japanese Art Gallery
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Ito Shinsui, 1898-1972
Hand Mirror

a beauty checks her hair in a hand mirror, abstract motifs on her kimono and background; signed Shinsui with artist's seal Shinsui, published by Watanabe Shozaburo in 1954
obaiban tate-e 19 5/8 by 14 in., 50 by 35.6 cm
A true mid-century modern beauty gazes down at a hand mirror and checks the set of her pin curls styled into a short and curly 'poodle cut' which was au courant in the mid-1950s. She wears a traditional kimono with a rather jazzy pattern of swirling blue, black and yellow lines against a pink ground, and wax-resist-dyed deep red obi lined with a contrasting pattern with bands of cream, orange and blue. There is a hint of blush on her cheeks and dark red on her barely visible lips, and she has complimentary pink polish on her nails. The background is printed with lush violet baren sujizuri swirls in three hues suggestive of shifting shadows.
Tadasu Watanabe, Ito Shinsui: All the Woodblock Prints, 1992, pp. 194-195, pl. 129
Reigle Newland, Amy, and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th Century Prints of Japanese Beauties, 2000, p. 81, pl. 91
Reigle Newland, Amy, gen. ed., Printed to Perfection: Twentieth-century Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 2004, p. 105, no. 92
price: $ 9,000 (reserved)