Brocades of Edo: Wisteria
(Edo no nishiki: Fuji)
finely printed, the folding fan highlighted with mica; signed Terukata with artist's seal Kazan, published by Akiyama Buemon of Kokkeido, ca. 1903
oban yoko-e 9 3/4 by 14 5/8 in., 24.9 by 37.2 cm
A beauty seated on the second floor balcony of a teahouse leans on the railing while holding a folding fan highlighted with mica. The composition is framed diagonally by a large cloth banner decorated with the crest of the house, the railing draped in red cloth, and a folding screen the background behind dangling vines of blossoming wisteria.
Ikeda Terukata was a student in the school of Mizuno Toshikata (1866-1908) from 1895, where he met Ikeda Shoen (1888-1917), a fellow student who would become his wife in 1911. Terukata and Shoen were a part of a circle of artists, including Kaburagi Kiyokata (1878-1972), who at the turn of the 20th century produced mostly bijinga in commercial prints or kuchi-e (frontispiece illustrations) in a manner more idealized and romantic than the raunchy leanings of earlier ukiyo-e.
Over a period of approximately a dozen years beginning in 1897, the publisher Akiyama Buemon of Kokkeido, and Matsuki Heikichi of Daikoku-ya, issued several horizontal bijin series of this type, sold individually or in orihon (folding albums) once the series was completed. The sentimental portrayals of women were among the few single-sheet woodblock print series in production by the end of the Meiji period (1868-1912). This series of fifteen prints, Brocade of Edo (Edo no nishiki), completed and released in an album dated Meiji 36 (1903), seems to have been the inspiration for (or inspired by) a similarly titled and formatted series, Edo Brocades (Edo nishiki), designed by Toyohara Chikanobu (1838-1912) and published by Matsuki Heikichi of Daikoku-ya in 1903-1904. On the dated title page with table of contents that accompanied the series in album format, the publisher explains that he was motivated to produce this series "to discover new things by studying the past."
Amy Reigle Newland, and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th Century Prints of Japanese Beauties, 2000, p. 209 (artist's biography)
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Louis W. Hill collection, accession no. 96.146.157A (album with title page dated Meiji 36 )
(inv. no. 10-1948)
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site last updated
October 14, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
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