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CHIKANOBU, Yoshu (1838–1912).

A Set of Six Bust Portraits of Beauties - Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages).

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Toyohara Chikanobu (1838–1912), better known to his contemporaries as Y sh Chikanobu, was one of the most successful woodblock print artists of Japan's Meiji period. He lived at a time when Japan saw the reinstatement of the emperor as ruler and underwent rapid westernization. He worked both with traditional subjects, such as actors, courtesans, scenes of famous sites, beautiful women, and with topical subjects, such as the Satsuma Rebellion (1877) and the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895). Chikanobu used the flat planes and decorative patterning of the ukiyo-e tradition to striking effect, adding brilliant colors, especially reds, purples, and blues to his compositions.

More precisely, Ukiyo-e, or ukiyo-ye (in Japanese 'pictures of the floating world'), is a genre of woodblock prints and paintings that flourished in Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries. It was aimed at the prosperous merchant class in the urbanizing Edo period (1603–1867). Amongst the popular themes were

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A Set of Six oban tate-e woodblock prints of okubi-e (bust portraits) of beauties, titled Jidai kagami (Mirror of the Ages), documenting the fashions of former times (from the Keicho to the Meiji era) in chronological order, each sheet with a beautiful woman in sumptuous costume depicted at the lower section and a rectangular panel at the top which makes a reference to the era, some sheets with lacquer and embossed details, published by Matsuki Heikichi, variously dated Meiji 29, 30 and 31 (1896-8), all signed Yoshu Chikanobu. Each sheet approx. 36cm x 23.7cm (14 1/8in x 9 3/8in). Framed and glazed: 40 by 29cm.


Stock ID:91693

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