Portfolio of Beauties by Kiyokata: Blue Stars
(Kiyokata bijin gafu: Aoki Hoshi)
signed Kiyokata, published by Nihon Bijutsugakuin in 1914
7 1/2 by 5 in., 19.2 by 12.6 cm
This print is from a small album published in 1914, Portfolio of Beauties by Kiyokata (Kiyokata bijin gafu), that included four woodblock prints along with eight photo lithographs based on paintings. Although Kiyokata achieved recognition primarily as a Nihonga (Japanese-style) painter and was not active in the shin-hanga movement, many important shin-hanga artists emerged from his atelier, including Ito Shinsui (1898-1972); Kawase Hasui (1883-1957); Kasamatsu Shiro (1898-1991); Yamakawa Shuho (1898-1944); Torii Kotondo (1900-1976), and Kobayakawa Kiyoshi (1896-1948).
In May of 1918, Kiyokata commented on the intention of shin-hanga:
"The new ukiyo-e that we are contemplating never seeks a low-class, vulgar style, nor uselessly touches sensually provocative subjects. Is it not enough to say that we are those who, aiming high, sincerely express the living society, the truth of life....Art created by the earnest and quiet contemplation of life is our desire." (Water and Shadow, p. 43)
Amy Reigle Stephens, gen. ed., The New Wave: Twentieth-Century Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, 1993, p. 107, no. 80 (on Kiyokata bijin gafu)
Kaburaki Kiyokata: A Retrospective, Tokyo Museum of Modern Art, 1999
Helen Merritt, and Nanako Yamada, Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture, 2000, pp. 198-201 (artist's biography)
Amy Reigle Newland, gen. ed., Printed to Perfection: Twentieth-century Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, 2004, p. 36 (on Kiyokata bijin gafu)
Koyama Shuko, Kawase Hasui's Travels and Travel Scenes: An Investigation from the Viewpoint of Taisho-Era Tourism, in Kendall Brown, Water and Shadow: Kawase Hasui and Japanese Landscape Prints, 2014, pp. 39-47
National Museum of Asian Art, Sackler Gallery, Robert O. Muller Collection, accession no. S2003.8.398
(inv. no. 10-4661)
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site last updated
October 14, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
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New York, New York 10019
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