Woman Holding a Firefly Cage

Artist: Hashiguchi Goyō 橋口五葉 (1880-1921)
Historical period(s)
Taisho era, July 1920
Woodblock print; ink on paper
H x W: 46.7 x 29 cm (18 3/8 x 11 7/16 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

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

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
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