Woman Bathing

Artist: Hashiguchi Goyō 橋口五葉 (1880-1921)
Historical period(s)
Taisho era, October 1915
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H x W: 40.7 x 26.6 cm (16 x 10 1/2 in)
Credit Line
Gift of H. Ed Robison in memory of Ulrike Pietzner-Robison
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

bathing, Japan, Taisho era (1912 - 1926), woman, WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

This print was the first color woodblock print published from a design by Goyo. Commissioned by the publisher Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962), the print was produced by a carver and printers employed by Watanabe in a workshop that functioned similarly to those of the Edo period (1615-1868). Following the Edo period custom, Watanabe's circular seal is printed at the lower left, while Goyo, embarking on his first creation in this medium, placed a seal reading "Shisaku," meaning "trial production," below the date and his signature at the upper left.

In this print, Goyo hoped to achieve an image that conveyed the sense of solidity and volume from his drawings by using line and flat color without recourse to shading. The woman, kneeling beside a basin with her clothing folded nearby, wrings out a cloth to wash before entering the soaking tub. Her completely nude figure reflects Goyo's training in Western artistic practices such as drawing from life, which formed the basis of all his figure prints. Ultimately, Goyo was not satisfied with the result of his cooperation with Watanabe. Convinced that the artist should exert more control over the result, he turned to publishing his own prints after this single collaboration.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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