Kamoshita Choko


Comparison of New Ukiyo-e Beauties : September, Tipsy
(Shin ukiyo-e bijin awase: Kyugatsu, Horoyoi)

embellished with mica on her collar, signed with artist's seal in lower right corner, Choko ga saku, the series title cartouche at upper right, Shin ukiyo-e bijin awase, followed by the print title, Kyugatsu- Horoyoi, and the artist's name, Kamoshita Choko gahauku hitsu, published the Publication Society of Shin Ukiyo-e Bijin Awase, ca. 1918

dai oban tate-e 17 3/8 by 11 1/8 in., 44 by 28.2 cm

This series is usually identified as published by Murakami, an otherwise unknown publisher, and dated to 1924. Recent scholarship has adjusts the dating of at least a portion of the series, including this design, to 1918. A slip of paper attached to an impression of another print from the series, May, Early Summer Rain, by Nakayama Shuko (b. 1876), credits the Publication Society of Shin Ukiyo-e Bijin Awase, which may have been run by a Mr. Murakami. The series represents a new mode of woodblock print production in which the artists (likely with support from patrons) act as their own publisher, and the prints were produced striving to replicate the painterly affects of completed paintings rather than the traditional hanmoto (publisher) method utilizing sumi ink drawings. Some of the original paintings are known to have survived, seven of which are currently in the collection of Darrel C. Karl, and compare remarkably closely with the prints.

While most of the prints in this series are in the same romanticized style seen in kuchi-e and limited bijinga series designed by the circle of artists originating from the atelier of Mizuno Toshikata (1866-1908) in the late Meiji Period (1868-1912), the highly stylized contributions by Yamamura Koka (1885-1942, February, Wintry Sky), and this design by Kamoshita Choko, comprised of large flat areas of color define by rounded lines, display the influence of art nouveau (that is, the reverse of Japonsime) on modern Japanese artists.

Amy Reigle Newland and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th Century Prints of Japanese Beauties, 2000, p. 102, no. 132
Andreas Marks, Seven Masters: 20th-century Woodblock Prints from the Wells Collection, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2015, p. 208 (regarding series dating)

(inv. no. C-3254)

price: $2,000


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site last updated
August 14, 2022

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