Original Keigetsu Kikuchi (1879 - 1955) Japanese Woodblock Print
The Heroine Koharu, 1922
Series; The Complete Works of Chikamatsu Monzaemon, First Edition, circa 1922 - 1926
The Complete Works of Chikamatsu Manzaemon - Published between 1922 and 1926, "The Complete Works of Chikamatsu Manzaemon" illustrates the works of the famous playwright Chikamatsu Manzaemon (1653 - 1725), considered one of Japan's greatest dramatists. He authored more than 100 plays, mainly for the bunraku puppet theater, including historical romances and domestic tragedies, often based on true events. Many of these popular tales were adapted for kabuki theater and are still performed today.
This beautiful series consists of 18 prints by leading artists of the Taisho era, including two important female painters, Shima Seien (1892-1970) and Uemura Shoen (1875-1949). From mysterious ghosts and poignant beauties to fierce deities and heroic warriors, each illustrates one of Chikamatsu's most memorable characters. Exquisitely carved by Yamagishi Kazue and expertly printed by Nishimura Kumakichi, many include deluxe printing techniques such as embossing, metallic flecks, mica, and hand-applied gofun pigment.
We are excited to offer an incredible group of prints from "The Complete Works of Chikamatsu Manzaemon," including the most desirable and sought-after designs. Considered one of the greatest Japanese shin-hanga series, these fantastic first edition designs are a wonderful choice for a collector. We've seen images from this series offered elsewhere online for more than $1,500. Don't miss this opportunity to collect a beautiful, first edition print from this timeless and treasured series.
The Heroine Koharu, 1922 - Poignant image of the courtesan Koharu in the play "Daikyoji Mukashi-go yomi." Koharu is in love with Jihei, a married paper merchant. After receiving a letter from Jihei's wife, Osan, urging to her to stop the affair, Koharu and Jihei decide to commit lover's suicide rather than be parted. She looks down with an expression of sorrow, hands resting delicately atop a slender pipe. Her hair is swept back into a large bun, adorned with a comb and hairpins, a few loose wisps framing her face. Her obi, the sheer ribbon in her hair, the tip of the pipe, and the leaf sprigs on her white kimono collar are detailed with shimmering silver mica. The white pigment on the face and hands has oxidized to a slightly darker tone. A lovely portrait of this tragic heroine.
Artist - Keigetsu Kikuchi (1879 - 1955)
Image Size - 15 3/8" x 10 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail, as shown. Slight toning, a few small spots. Please note, the darkening along the edge of the face and hands is from the oxidation of the pigment used, and is typical for this subject. Please see photos for details.