Kiyochika 小林: Three Geisha in One (Kyoto Osaka and Tokyo)

Date 1878
Technique Woodblock Print
Price $2,400.00
Exhibitor Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints
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Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika 小林 (1847-1915)

Title: Three Geisha: Kayo of Kyoto, Hitotsuru of Osaka, and Kokichi of Tokyo    

Date: ca. 1878

Strikingly inventive portrait of “Three Geisha: Kayo of Kyoto, Hitotsuru of Osaka, and Kokichi of Tokyo”. The theme of beauties from the three capitals dated back over two centuries in ukiyo-e, but here Kiyochika has used the device of overlapping the eyes to combine all three into a single oval portrait. They share a single fan and hair ornament. He also gives the portrait the flavor of a photograph, and uses a western frame above with a Japanese poem card at right. The poem card is a haiku that reads, “Oh to see moon and snow together in the mountain of blossoms”. The ancient theme of “snow, moon, flower” seems evident on the fan.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. 
Dimensions: ôban (36 x 25 cm)
Publisher: Matsuki Heikichi
Literature: Pictured in “Kiyochika: Artist of Meiji Japan” by Henry D. Smith II, figure 15, page 28. See National Museum of Asian Art for Muller example.
Signature: Kobayashi Kiyochika