Shoen

Ikeda Shoen

1886-1917

Layered Mist: A Rainy Day in Spring
(Yaekasumi)

a beauty opening a black umbrella, very finely printed with the black of her hair, collar and folds of her obi printed with lacquer, and silver mica on her hair ornament and the cherry blossoms decorating the inner-kosode; signed Shoen with artist's seal Shoen, published by Kokkeido (Akiyama Buemon), ca. 1906

oban yoko-e 9 5/8 by 14 5/8 in., 24.6 by 37.2 cm

Ikeda Shoen was a prominent female student in the school of Mizuno Toshikata (1866-1908), where she met her husband Ikeda Terukata (1883-1921). The couple were a part of a circle of artists, including Kaburagi Kiyokata (1878-1972), who at the turn of the 20th century produced mostly romanticized bijinga in commercial prints or kuchi-e (frontispiece illustrations).

The publisher Akiyama Buemon issued other print series of this type portraying idealized beauties by artists from the group, including Shoen's husband Terukata and their teacher, Toshikata. Sold individually or in albums, they were among the few single-sheet woodblock print series in production via the traditional hanmoto (publisher) system the end of the Meiji period (1868-1912).

In 1916 both Shoen and Terukata received high awards at the tenth Bunten (art exhibition sponsored by the Ministry of Education), but Shoen contracted tuberculosis and died at the young age of thirty-one the following year. After her death, a design by Shoen, Mild Late Autumn Day (Koharubi), was included as the November print from the first (pre-earthquake) set of the collaborative series, Comparison of New Ukiyo-e Beauties (Shin bijin awase), published in 1918.

References:
Amy Reigle Newland, and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th Century Prints of Japanese Beauties, 2000, p. 208 (artist's biography)
(inv. no. 10-1957)

price: $550

kikumon

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site last updated
October 14, 2021

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475