Woman Holding a Firefly Cage

Maker(s)
Artist: Hashiguchi Goyō 橋口五葉 (1880-1921)
Historical period(s)
Taisho era, July 1920
Medium
Woodblock print; ink on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 46.7 x 29 cm (18 3/8 x 11 7/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Gift of H. Ed Robison in memory of Ulrike Pietzner-Robison
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1993.60
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Print
Type

Woodblock print

Keywords
firefly, Japan, Taisho era (1912 - 1926), woman, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

This print is an uncolored impression from a single block that may have been intended to be a keyblock to print the black outlines of a color print. Like Goyo's other print designs, this print interprets faithfully one of the artist's detailed pencil drawings. The date--July 1920--printed near the artist's signature at the lower left, indicates that the print was designed in that month, which explains the seasonal theme of a woman holding a cage of fireflies as a fan hangs from her wrist.

This work may have been among those printed by Goyo's family and associates after the artist's death, or it may simply have been a proof for a design that was never completed. From this impression, however, we can appreciate the graphic quality of Goyo's keyblocks, which were the foundation for representing the volume of the figure and its relationship to other objects. It is possible to imagine how Goyo would have represented the glow of fireflies in color printing.

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

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.