Posted by Darrel C. Karl (188.8.131.52) on May 25, 2014 at 06:48:21:
This inscription appears in early 1901 Bertha Jaques color etching called Toyo San (Miss Chrysanthemum). The kanji looks highly stylized (perhaps even invented). Does it have a reading? It doesn't appear to be any kanji I recognize for "Toyo" or "Chrysanthemum."
The etching itself appears to be influenced by work of Helen Hyde, who was a friend and mentor to Jaques since 1898, although they did not meet in person until 1902. The etching itself predates by seven years Jaques' trip to Japan to visit Helen Hyde in 1908, and is the only Japanese subject in Jaques' intaglio work prior to 1909 (excluding one or two arguable botanicals).
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