Re: Unidentified woman after bath


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Posted by Alec W. (174.105.163.103) on April 02, 2021 at 05:23:33:

In Reply to: Re: Unidentified woman after bath posted by Bringing image forwa on April 02, 2021 at 03:00:20:

My suggestion is that the creation of this print owes more to the print's publisher -- and that publisher's understanding of the print-buying market, than with an artist's intentions.

This dynamic was important throughout the long arc of ukiyo-e, since ukiyo-e was always, at heart, a commercial art form. This is doubly true in the reproduction market -- by the early 20th century the market for woodblock prints was mostly composed of foreigners, and so the business strategy of print publishing was based on catering to the perceived interests of foreign buyers. And "improving" on old designs was certainly one approach that publishers took. The artisans commissioned to actually create such works would have been doing a job closer to that of a designer of advertisements, than that of a "fine artist" working under their own name.

In terms of this being a well-known design, I mean that more in the sense of "one of Sukenobu's better-known designs", as opposed to "famous like Hokusai's 'Great Wave'".

Hope this helps,
-A


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