LOT 779
SOLD €800,00

[Beautiful complete print series. Shunga] Ukiyo-e no hyoujou-bi

Tokyo, Bijutsu-sha, February 1931, two letterpress text leaves with title, introduction and reviews of the work (by a calligrapher, a writer, a researcher and a journalist), and a total of 24 colour woodcuts after Kionaga, Hokusai, Eisen etc. and partly unsigned, all ca. 25 x 22 cm., with top margins pasted along both sides of a leporello between to silk-clad boards, 31.5 x 25.5 cm. (length unfolded leporello 404 centimeter!), front cover with title label on side.

Several prints with fold due to careless folding; here and there trifle foxed. The boards and hinges of leporello leaves slightly worn. Beautiful, exceptionally colourful print series, with detailed erotic scenes, very rare in this complete form. Many of the prints have been printed with details in relief and, combined with the window-like character, therefore have a special sense of depth. The title was carefully chosen: "The beauty of expressions of the face in ukiyo-e." According to the foreword, the intention of the book was to reproduce a collection of paintings in the "ukiyo-e bijin-e" genre, especially the intense facial expressions of beautiful women, a new approach. The publication has a "doujin-shi" character. Furthermore, the foreword mentions the idea of the publication originating in the Spring of 1927. The following year the print series was ready for publication, but the furious and disappointed makers noticed that it would not be approved by the strict censorship, leading to a change of plan and only in 1931 was the work ready to be published. Additionally, apologies are made for the high price of the book, with the note that no Western printing techniques or machines were used for the production of the prints, but only pure, artisanal (and therefore expensive) Japanese craftsmanship. With thanks to Genji Yasuhira for interpreting the Japanese text.

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