Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) Thirty-Two Aspects of Customs and Manners, Looking itchy: The Appearance of a Kept Woman of the Kansei Era (1789-1801) Number 16, 1888. Oban.
Possibly the best known print from one of Yoshitoshi’s most well known series. The series depicts a chronological survey from the Kansei era (1789-1801) to the Meiji era (1860-1912) of women of different backgrounds and occupations, each associated with a particular mood or character trait. The word for 'appearance' (so) had been famously used by earlier artists such as Utamaro. It was a technical term borrowed from amateur physiognomists who analysed character on the basis of physical facial features, a popular craze in nineteenth century Japan. Yoshitoshi is looking back to Utamaro in the drawing of this exquisite design. The fold of the translucent netting is a tour-de-force of woodblock printing. A kept woman emerges from mosquito netting, gazing drowsily at the viewer, her hair is dishevelled and her comb is falling out. Her loose cotton yukata has slipped from her shoulders exposing her breasts.
This fine print is from the early edition, having a shaded three-colour cartouche. It has been previously mounted and has professionally restored worm damage to the upper right corner. Colour and impression are very fine, trimmed to the image. A rare and exceptional piece of work.
36 x 24 cm.