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Make-up (At the Mirror)

Make-up (At the Mirror) 化粧
by Torii Kotondo (1900-1976)

The artworks displayed on JAODB are not for sale.

Artist: Torii Kotondo (1900-1976) 鳥居言人
Title: Make-up (At the Mirror) 化粧
Series: 
Date 1st edition?1930 (summer)
Publisher 1st edition?Kawaguchi 川口
Publisher (this edition)?Kawaguchi 川口
Medium (1st edition): Woodblock
Medium (this edition): Woodblock
Format (1st edition): Large Oban
Format (this edition): Large Oban
DB artwork code: 27244
Notes (1st edition)?Artist: Torii Kotondo
Title: Kesho (Make-up) - (At the Mirror)
Medium: Limited Edition Japanese Woodblock Print

Edition of: 350 (Kawaguchi)
Date: 1930 Summer
Publisher: Kawaguchi
Reference No: Female Image #174-1
Size 18 x 11 "

Note from Ross: There are two colour variants for this design. For editions 1 to about 150 the kimono is tri-tone with red above the sash and light red/pink below the sash. The cabinet is a deep brown. The publisher seal Kawaguchi is in the left margin, and there are no printer or carver seals. For editions after about 150 the kimono is nearly two-tone red/pink both above and below the sash. The cabinet is a light brown shade with strong sujizuri (swirls of printing with the baren edge). The publisher seal is in the right margin with printer/carver seals in the left. Note that this darker red often fades to a lighter pink.
Notes (this edition)?The following information was taken from the original web listing of this artwork. Often written by non-experts, there may be inaccuracies:

Monday, 29 December 2008

TITLE: Beauty Arranging Hair in front of Mirror

ARTIST: Torii Kotondo

WORK DATE: 1930

CATEGORY: Prints

MATERIALS: Original Japanese Woodblock Hand Print - hanga

MARKINGS: Artist signature: Kotondo and the artist seal to the lower right of the image with the date of the print: Showa Gonen Natsu (Summer in the 5th year of Showa period -1930) to its top right.

SIZE: h: 30 x w: 46 cm / h: 11.8 x w: 18.1 in

REGION: Japanese

STYLE: Meiji Period (1868-1945)

PRICE*: £5,800 (

DESCRIPTION: Depicted is a beauty arranging her hair in the front of a mirror. The season, possibly summer, judging from the attire and the semi-nude beauty, or simply a scene of a beauty after a bath - a subject often taken up by Japanese print artists. She wears Kimono with designs of Ume (Japanese Plum Blossom) - a symbol of good luck especially for the female. The background in shimmering silver mica.
A mint condition and one masterpiece from amongst many by Kotondo - one of his best known designs in the bijin-ga style. As he only did 32 designs of beauties, they are well recognised and collectible.

Artist Bio: Torii Kotondo (or Torii Kiyotada VIII) is renowned for his paintings and shin hanga prints of beautiful women. His woodblock prints, superbly carved and printed, are comparable with those of Hashiguchi Goyo and Ito Shinsui. Kotondo was born with the name Saito Akira in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo. He was the only son among the five children of Torii Kiyotada, the seventh Torii master. The Torii school had a long tradition of painting and printmaking for the Japanese theater, extending back to the seventeenth century. Kabuki theater was still very popular in the early twentieth century and prints and painted posters were the primary means of publicity. Although Kotondo was mainly interested in studying history and archaeology, it was assumed that he would follow in his father's footsteps and join the Torii school. At age 14, Kotondo agreed to leave school and begin studies with Kobori Tomone, a yamato-e painter. Along with painting classes, Tomone taught Kotondo about the court and military practices of ancient Japan, satisfying his interest in history. A year later, he was officially adopted as the next heir of the Torii school and assumed the artist's name 'Kotondo'. While still studying with Tomone, he began designing illustrations for a theatrical magazine, Engei Gaho ('Entertainment Illustrated Magazine'), and painted kabuki posters and billboards.

The artworks displayed on JAODB are not for sale.

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Site copyright: Dr Ross F. Walker. Copyright of the displayed artwork: the original owner. The information contained on this website is provided as an educational resource to scholars and collectors of Japanese art. JAODB would like to thank the caretakers of these art items for their contribution to this database. The items displayed here are not being offered for sale. Unless otherwise indicated the displayed item is not in the ownership of JAODB or Ross Walker.