Eishi Hosoda – Beauty in the Snow
A small Meiji-era production of an original print by Eishi Hosoda (1756-1829). Very similar to his counterpart Kitagawa Fujimaro (see "Two Beauties in Falling Snow"), this print makes usage of the light brown paper for negative space treatment and white gofun paste blown over the surface to create the effect of snowflakes in a snow storm. We often talk about the influence of Japanese art from this period; it's easy to draw a line from pieces such as this one to the fashion-art of Erté (Romain de Tirtoff) and the later Art Deco movement.
The Woodblock Print
The print measures approximately 5"x7", and even with that small size has incredibly intricate detail. A crisp registry in the lines, combined with rich colors and detailed patterning make this an exceptional small print. Thin, intact margins. Residue of tacking on the verso.
About the Artist
Eishi Hosoda was born into the Hosoda samurai family as Tokitomi Fujiwara-no-Jibukyo in 1756. Eishi began his career in painting studying first in the Kano school followed by Bunryusai. Eishi became a court painter and high court official to the Tokugawa Shogun Ieharu; his name Eishi was bestowed upon him by the shogun. Around the age of thirty, Eishi left the court and began working in ukiyo-e woodblocks. Initially influenced by the Torii school, he soon found inspiration in Utamaro’s beauties and began producing bijin-ga (pictures of beautiful women). Defined by aristocratic elegance, Eishi’s women appear tall, lean and graceful. It is said that his prints were so highly regarded in their time that even the imperial family sought to own them. His paintings are considered masterpieces of the Japanese ukiyo-e school.