Itō Shinsui, ‘The First Collection of Modern Beauties: Mosquito Net’, ca. 1929, Scholten Japanese Art
Itō Shinsui, ‘The First Collection of Modern Beauties: Mosquito Net’, ca. 1929, Scholten Japanese Art

dated and signed, Showa yonen gogatsu, Shinsui ga (Showa 4 [1929], 5th month, by Shinsui), with artist's red square seal Shinsui, with hand-numbered limited edition seal on verso, Nihyakugoju mai zeppan, dai hachi-ju-hachi ban (250 limited edition, number 88), followed by rectangular publisher seal, Watanabe, ca. 1929

dai oban tate-e 16 3/4 by 10 7/8 in., 42.5 by 27.5 cm

A half-length portrait of a beauty hanging a mosquito net. She wears a blue and white yukata, the light cotton kimono worn in the summertime. She leans back as she pulls the metal ring of the mosquito net up to a hook; the net casts an arching sweep of cloth across the foreground. Light falls on her face, highlighting strands of her hair against the grey bokashi background which darkens towards the lower right.
In 1929 Watanabe announced the production of this series, First Collection of Modern Beauties, to be issued in editions limited to only 250 impressions. Of each edition, he intended to distribute 200 impressions by subscription and the remaining 50 would be available individually. Although it consisted of only twelve designs, it took two years to complete.

Publisher: Watanabe

Tadasu Watanabe, Ito Shinsui: All the Woodblock Prints, 1992, p. 85, pl. 51
Amy Reigle Newland and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th Century prints of Japanese Beauties, 2000, p. 63, pl. 55
Carolyn M. Putney, Fresh Impressions: Early Modern Japanese Prints, Toledo Museum of Art, 2013, p. 97, cat. no. 25

About Itō Shinsui