This very old and fragile kakemono-e by Eizan shows a Geisha in her ornate kimono and accompanying accessories as she prepared to go out for the evening. She is seen standing and looking slightly downward to her right.
All kakemono-e are made up of two joined oban sized prints. When mounted and framed they form a long print that is similar to a scroll. The piece we are offering is in two pieces and we are not sure if it has ever been framed. To photograph it in its two piece joined format, we laid the two pieces end to end on the carpet and took the photo. All of the other photos are of the separate parts and details of same.
Overall the print is in good condition for such an old print. It is on very thin paper and is accordingly very delicate. It has overall fading and spotting issues – the edges are somewhat frayed and there are two short 1” tears in the upper edge - both easily hidden when framed. The registration is fine and the color is still lovely even though faded. Together the two prints when joined measure 30” by 9 ¼”. We date it to the 1830s, Edo period.
The print has a signature – it translates as "Kikukawa( right side upper two kanji) Eizan Hitsu( Eizan painted, left size, 3 kanji)" - Kikukawa Eizan painted. Kikukawa Eizan (1787-1867) was a designer of ukiyo-e style Japanese woodblock prints. He first studied with his father, Eiji, a minor painter of the Kanō school. He then studied with Suzuki Nanrei (1775-1844), an artist of the Shijō school. He is believed to have also studied with the ukiyo-e artist Totoya Hokkei (1790-1850). He produced numerous woodblock prints of beautiful women in the 1830s, but then abandoned printmaking in favor of painting.
A Kakemono-e (76.5x23cm) -is a large, upright format comprised approximately of two ōban arranged one above the other. It is a format used for ukiyo-e prints. Generally, two sheets in the oban format size were joined vertically and mounted with paper border and backing onto a simple hanging scroll (kakemono) and used to decorate the houses of townspeople. Kakemono-e popular in the first half of 19c were often prints of beautiful ladies and boys (bijinga) by artists such as Kikukawa Eizan (1787-1867).