Am I the only one in the world
who can look at Bijin-ga
(pictures of beautiful women)
day after day after day?
Why isn't there a market
for contemporary paintings or prints
on this subject?
(other than on the calendars
you find in auto repair shops)
Above is my all-time favorite,
(unless we include the Europeans)
the genre did not die
in 19th Century Japan
Ito Shinsui (1898-1972)
Here's an artist
in the Buckingham Print Gallery
at the Art Institute
How is that she feels more modern?
Is it that she's more in-your-face?
And a little less confidant about herself?
And not quite so delicate
This early piece is not in the Art Institute,
and it also feels
the most removed from
the Floating World
and more like a scene
of ordinary life
feels more like a daughter
than a singsong girl.
Ito's career began at the tender age of 17,
when he engaged by a young art entrepreneur, Watanabe Shozaburo,
to design prints for the export market.
So he work was made for European and American collectors
rather than Japanese.
Would that make his work inauthentic ?
(as it would if he were an African sculptor)
Kiyokata Kaburagi (鏑木清方) 1878 –1972)
And she feels more like a wife.
This piece is
by Ito's teacher
and here's another.
but not as personal
as his student
Hashiguchi Goyo (1880-1921)
And how are these girls different?
They seem more like pictures
and less like personalities.