Inshô: The First Makeup of the New Year
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Dômoto Inshô (1891-1975)

A sensuous young beauty, her nagajuban underkimono slipped down over her shoulder, is putting the finishing touches to her festive hairstyle in front of her hand mirror. On the left side, a partially visible decoration hints to the first day of the New Year.

Title: Hatsu-geshô (The First Makeup of the New Year).

Signature: Inshô. Seal: Inshô

Publisher: Baba Nobuhiko, Kyoto

Date: 1935? (more likely from the first edition 1931)

Size: Vertical Dai-Ôban, 42 x 30 cm (image), 46,5 x 32,8 cm (overall)

Beautiful impression and fine colours, with relief printing and kurokarazuri (silver-grey, very fine mica) in the lower half of the background, the signature with gofun white.The strong paper a little age-toned. Margins probably somewhat trimmed; creased and slightly soiled at left margin, top left a slight discolouration in margin. Some smoothed horizontal creases, inconspicuous from front, small foxing spots. Overall very good condition. Verso in right margin rectangular embossed stamp indicating the edition of 250 copies, without specific number.

Rare. This edition resp. variant with silver-grey background, and no title or imprint in the lateral margins. Morra describes (Cat. 11, 2009), for a comparable state without text a preserved original wrapper with label and the date Shôwa 6 (1931), from which he concludes that the date of 1935, usually attributed uniformely to all variants of this print, applies only to the- more frequently encountered – margin-dated edition.

Cf. for this state both MFA Boston, no. 35.1853 (acquired from a private collection already in 1935) and Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, no. 1963.30.3086. Further lit. and ill.: Lawrence Smith, The Japanese Print since 1900. London 1983, pp. 69 and 73, no. 47. Amy Reigle Newland/Hamanaka Shinji, The female image. Tokyo/Leiden, 2000, p. 167, no. 234. Merritt/Yamada, p. 16, giving the date 1934 for this print. Doubtlessly this is the most outstanding print by this artist, who created only a few prints.