Keisai Eisen, 1790-1848

Preparatory Drawing for print 'Plum Tree Garden'
(Ukiyo sugata: Ume Yashiki)

sumi ink drawing with detailed notations for the carver and printer indicating the intended coloration, unsigned, 1820s

conserved on achival paper 15 3/4 by 11 in., 40.1 by 27.8 cm

This drawing relates directly to a woodblock print from Eisen's Ukiyo sugata series published in the 1820s by Wakasaya Yoichi of Jakurindo. It appears to be the near-final version of the composition, with very detailed instructions for the carver and printer on how the coloration should be addressed. While the absolute final version of the design, the hanshita, would be destroyed in the normal process of carving the keyblock, drawings of this type would have been helpful to keep on hand, particularly for the printer, during the production process to ensure that the artist's intentions were followed.

Keisai Eisen: Artist of the Floating World, Chiba City Museum of Art, 2012, p. 217, no. 285 (full color print)
(inv. no. 10-2686)


Keisai Eisen

Ukiyo sugata: Ume Yashiki, ca. 1820s


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