Re: Help with identifying print/arti

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Posted by Alec W. ( on March 20, 2021 at 16:58:42:

In Reply to: Re: Help with identifying print/arti posted by Mexx on March 20, 2021 at 13:55:15:

The prints in the book that I linked to are (mostly) woodblock prints -- I've run into discussion of at least one other book set from the early 20th century in this same vein -- woodblock printed adaptations of "old master" paintings, mounted onto blank pages of a large book.

In the above case, the book was 13.5in x 19.5in, so I suppose if your piece is larger than that, and doesn't have any evidence of a center fold, then it must come from somewhere else. Perhaps the publisher who produced the prints for the book issued more impressions separately from the ones sent to the book publisher? In other words, both "folded" (from the book) and "unfolded" (sold separately) impressions might exist? Or maybe multiple different woodblock producers had a crack at this design? I don't really know.

In terms of a title, both the ARC database entry and the exhibition flyer give 「品海遊宴図」, so I think that's a "standard" title for the work. I'm not completely sure of the correct reading and translation for that, but my best guess is "Hinkai yūen zu", something like "View of a feast at Hinkai". "Hinkai" seems to have been an old place name in Shinagawa, possibly referring to the old town by the port at the river's mouth. In the period the painting was made, Shinagawa was home to a fashionable unlicensed pleasure quarter, and scenes of the entertainments at the establishments there were popular subjects for ukiyo-e. For example, see:

Finally, if no one else here chimes in, and you're looking for other opinions, you might try the Asian Arts Forum, linked at the top of the main "Ukiyo-e Q & A" page.


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