Petrie-Rogers Gallery - Japanese Woodblock Prints

Rare Japanese Aizuri-e Woodblock Print Eisen Courtesan


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Directory: Hidden: Pre 1837 VR: Item # 1160922
Petrie-Rogers Gallery
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P.O. Box 65647
Tucson, AZ 85728
(520) 293-8355

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Rare Japanese Edo period woodblock print by Keisai Eisen (1790-1848) depicting a standing courtesan from the series "Five Islands of the Present Day" (Tosei goban shima) published by Kawaguchiya Shozo in the late 1820s. An interesting addition to the Edo artist’s repertoire was the Dutch import of a mineral pigment called Prussian blue, or Berlin blue (“berorin”), which replaced the inferior quality Japanese indigo dye. “Blue pictures,” or “aizuri-e”, became quite popular around 1829. Hokusai and Hiroshige used Prussian blue extensively in their landscape prints, particularly to create gradations of color in sky and water. Eisen, represented here, started a fashion for prints of beauties executed solely in this imported color with accents of “beni” red. Paper size: 14 5/8"V x 10 1/8"H. Good overall condition. The paper on this print was thinned and had losses, so it has been professionally cleaned, conserved, and conservation paper backed.