Torii Kotondo (1900 - 1976)
Summer Kimono, Iris
Ishukankokai Published Commemorative
Torii Kotondo, 20th century master -
Torii Kotondo was born in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo. His given name was Saito Akira. In his early years, he studied painting, ancient court and military arts. At the age of 15 he was adopted into the Torii school by the seventh generation head of the school. He first assisted in the production of kabuki billboards and began his classical training in Japanese wood block print making. He was also a well-known illustrator for magazines and newspapers. In 1917, Kotondo entered the studio of Kiyokata where he studied the technique of bijinga and became interested in the tradition of beauty prints; a time-honored and favorite subject of Japanese wood block printmakers. He excelled in the art of the beauty print and his most well known today for his lovely beauty designs. The pinnacle of Kotondo's career and the great shin-hanga masterworks that he left behind are his lovely beauty images. Prints such as his exquisite nude "kamisuki," the demure beauty in the print titled "Sash", and his lovely image of a young woman in the winter in "Peony Snow" are all classic examples of Kotondo's mastery of the beauty print.
Today, Kotondo's prints are considered some of the most stunning beauty designs and great masterworks of the 20th century wood block print tradition. His output of beauty prints was a very small (22 works total), and the number of prints produced of each image was also small. The works required great care and complex printing techniques, and therefore the publishers released kotondo's works in small numbers. Original Kotondo prints are very rare and highly sought after by collectors today. His best images easily exceed $10,000 in the Japanese print market.
In the early 1980s as a commission of Kotondo's heirs, the venerable publisher Ishukankokai produced a limited edition set of 12 of Kotondo's 22 designs. Only 100 sets were produced (therefore, only 100 of each design, of course). These fantastic, Kotondo designs were again available in this strictly limited quantity for collectors to enjoy. Today, once again, Kotondo works are almost impossible to find in the market- including these Ishukankokai prints. We recently purchased one of these sets including all of the Ishukankokai Kotondo prints. We are excited to offer this group this evening in our auctions. Because of these strictly limited number of these prints produced. This is a very rare opportunity to collect a Kotondo masterwork at small fraction of the cost of a Kotondo first edition. These beautiful prints are certain to only increase in value as the years go by, and are treasures to be enjoyed for a lifetime. Either as a stunning display and focal point in a room, or as a Japanese woodblock print investment for the collector, these Kotondo prints are a fantastic opportunity.
Search the net, we found a few of these prints offered, and sold for as much as $2,500 - $5,000. As always, at Fuji Arts our prices are a fraction of those dealer offers and reflecting the prices paid between dealers- wholesale.
Summer Kimono, Iris - Lovely, classic Kotondo design of a young beauty in a light summer cotton kimono. A beautiful classic bijin print by the artist showing the young woman kneeling on a pillow in front of a stand mirror, arranging her hair for an evening out. An excellent Kotondo design and tranquil beauty print that would make a knockout display. Our lovely print with fine embossed detail on the kimono. Beautiful soft color and excellent printing. The mirror treated with a light mica pigment giving it a shimmering effect -- very nice.
With original presentation folder - Each print is being sold with its original presentation folder. The prints are stored in a beautiful inner folder with paper surround and protective liner and a heavy outer folder with subject and series titles in Japanese. See example photo below for the type of folders you will get with your print.
Signed - Kotondo-saku
Publisher Seal - Ishukankokai, with red moneybag seal, also sealed with carver and printer name. Bearing publisher's watermark in lower left corner.
Image size - 10 1/4" x 16 1/8"
Sheet size - 13" x 19"
Condition - This print in pristine condition overall, excellent with no issues to report. Fine color, excellent detail, a top-notch printing job. Full margins, not backed. No holes, tears, damage, repairs, or any issues to report. An excellent choice for the discerning collector.