Re: Kikumaro - reprint of a Shunsh˘ shunga album print?


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Posted by John Fiorillo on March 03, 2002 at 19:47:31:

In Reply to: Kikumaro - reprint of a Shunsh˘ shunga album print? posted by Guy pepermans on March 03, 2002 at 17:03:29:

Guy,

Your print is a recut version of the Shunsh˘ shunga. The most obvious difference is the change in the woman's head, which is larger and bears a coiffure that is updated to a new style (and includes a more elaborate hairpin). Other clear differences involve the removal of the top of the man's head (barely visible in Shunsh˘'s version) and redrawing of the man's left hand. Otherwise, the differences are somewhat less obvious, but one can see, for example, changes throughout the bedding patterns, which were indeed copied closely.

So your print is not a "reprint" (i.e., not a later impression from the original blocks), nor would I call it a "reproduction" (a copy meant to be accepted as a nearly exact remake of the original). Instead, it is a modified version based on an earlier model. There are many examples throughout the history of ukiyo-e printmaking in which later artists used earlier works by other artists as models for their own updated versions. In shunga we find instances such as Koryűsai copying Harunobu, and Eish˘ copying Utamaro, just to name two examples in the genre.

John



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