(1880 - 1947)
The heroine Umekawa
in "Meido no Hikayuki" by Chikamatsu Monzaemon
(print also found entitled: "Woman in snow")
Carver: Yamagishi Kazue
Printer: Nishimura Kumakichi
Size: dai oban tate-e (c. 45 x 29 cms / 17 3/4 x 11 3/8")
Excellent impression, color and condition. Mint.
Striking technical highlights. - Please read below.
ref. no.: # 672280
- Sold -
This design is almost an exaggerated example of an okubi-e
('large bust picture'), the head completely filling the picture plane. A similar composition,
yet with a slightly different approach, appears in the print, Heron maiden.
The above print (also labeled as the 'Small Heron Maiden') shows a number of
elaborate printing highlights, such as a white mica background. Silver mica was
applied to depict the hairpin and details of the purple garment. The snowflakes are
depicted in gofun (an opaque white pigment, often - as here - splashed on the print
to imitate effects such as snow in a three-dimensional manner).
It is not only the combination of printed and hand-applied pictorial elements, the perspective and extreme close-up of the woman's face which makes this design so fascinating, but above all: the harmonious combination of soft, light blue and purple color tones set against the white background.
Tsunetomi's style is quite unique and stands out favourably against such renowned masters of bijin-ga ('pictures of beautiful women') as Goyo and Shinsui. As he had not designed many prints, Tsunetomi's prints are quite rare.