Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/232

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102

JAPANESE COLOUR-PRINTS

universal at that time. At the same time he began to use white as the basis of his draperies. Finally, he elaborated his landscapes with loving care, further emphasising details, such as water and snow, by blind printing.

Besides the single sheets, which we shall presently refer to, he illustrated in his early days some books in black and white, such as:—

  • The occupations of women, 16 sheets.
  • The seven gods of fortune, 8 double sheets.
  • An anthology of Chinese poetry, 2 or 3 vols. 1763.

A book of 1762 is mentioned by the Hayashi Catalogue (No. 1491).

Of his colour books, the following are especially worth mention:—

  • Pretty women of the Yoshiwara. Yedo, 1770. (Illustrated in Duret, p. 92.)
  • Yehon haru no nishiki, spring scenes, 2 vols. (Yedo, 1771), 17 double sheets, light in tone, principally in grey and brown, the landscapes carefully elaborated, but the faces expressionless; probably his last work.
  • Wedding scenes, 7 oblong sheets, very delicate in colour and contour.
  • Various series of fanciful designs, of oblong shape.
  • Occupations of women, 30 sheets.

Of his single sheets, those in the style of the primitives are very scarce, as also the medium-sized colour-print. Of especial beauty are his kakemono-ye, mostly representing a single figure, but not, as Fenollosa states, without background, as the contrary is proved by the very charming work here reproduced, which shows a young girl descending a staircase. Of unusual shape and monumental beauty is a bridal procession, on a black background, in ten broadside folio sheets. Most of his sheets are of a medium quarto form which he was the first to introduce, and usually represent two figures. A representation of cranes in the reeds is exceptional. His prints of the year 1765