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"The Tomimoto Style" ("Tomimoto Fu") - courtesan Takejo, from the series "Modern Music like Pine Needles" ("Imayo Onkyoku Matsunoha") c.1830

IU s. on plate b. l. "Keisai Eisen ga"; inscr. on plate c. l. "Tomimoto Style" (translation); c. l. in blue cartouche "Modern Music like Pine Needles" (translation); t. l. square cartouche "Takejo" (partial translation); publisher's seal and censor's seal b. l. CRE EISEN, Keisai; (Japanese; 1790 - 1848) PUB Tsuta-ya Kichizo (Tsutakichi) (Koeido). This publishing house was active from 1800 - 1860. Eisen produced numerous pictures of beauties ('bijin-ga') and experimented in the production of prints in which blue was the dominant colour ('aizuri-e'). In the 1820s Prussian or Berlin blue ('berorin') was introduced to Japan by Dutch traders, and this brighter, synthetic shade of blue replaced the use of inferior quality indigo. The success of Katsushika Hokusai's "36 Views of Mount Fuji", which made use of this imported colour, created a fashion for Berlin blue from the late 1820s onwards. Eisen's print makes use of four different shades of blue and a technique known as 'bokashizuri' has been used to create a gradation of tone on the woman's kimono. The only addition to this restricted colour scheme is the 'beni' (safflower) red that has been used to give colour to her lips. The woman holds a paper parasol ('kasa') and wears sandals with an elevated wooden base ('geta'); the woman's summer clothing combined with the blue of the print has a cooling effect upon the viewer. Next to the woman stands a wooden barrel with a bamboo lid.