Charles Hovey Pepper


Dutch Woman in Cloak

color woodblock print, signed at upper right corner, CHARLES HOVEY PEPPER, published by Kobayashi Bunshichi, ca. 1906

11 3/4 by 8 5/8 in., 30 by 22 cm

In 1903 Pepper and his wife embarked on a year-long tour of Asia and the Middle East. His first destination was Japan, where he stayed for several months to collect and study Japanese paintings and woodblock prints. This is the same year that Dow visited Japan, and Helen Hyde (1868-1919) set up her new residence in Tokyo. Shortly after his arrival, Pepper visited Hyde who advised him to take a house in Nikko for a period, where a local contact arranged three models for him. The result was a set of four figural color woodblock prints which were printed by the ukiyo-e dealer and publisher, Kobayashi Bunshichi. When Dow arrived in Japan his first stop was Kobayashi's Yokohama shop, where he was shown the Pepper prints which were in production (Meech and Weisberg, pp.156-163)

In 1905, Pepper wrote a small reference book, Japanese Color Prints, which was published by Boston dealer Walter Kimball, and included detailed explanations on Japanese printmaking history and techniques. Many of Pepper's original paintings and examples of his prints were donated to the Colby Museum of Art; while most of his collection of Japanese woodblock prints (along with four of his own paintings and one print) were donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Pepper later sent Kobayashi a Dutch watercolor and French watercolor to be turned into woodblock prints. The title of the French subject is called 'The Conspirators,' presumably after the watercolor of the same title shown in the 1906 Pacific Painting Society exhibition in Tokyo's Ueno Park, which in turn was based on a photograph Pepper had taken in Paris. This print is the exceedingly rare Dutch subject, the exact title of which is unknown.

Julia Meech & Gabriel P. Weisberg, Japonisme Comes to America: The Impact on the Graphic Arts 1876-1925, pp. 156-163
Darrel C. Karl, The Woodblock Prints of Charles Hovey Pepper, Eastern Impressions,, August 1, 2016
Colby Museum of Art, accession nos. 2016.136 & 2016.137
(inv. no. 10-5461)

price: $1,100


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(212) 585-0474 or email
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site last updated
October 3, 2022

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