Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

To Read

Blessed Days of Anaesthesia: How Anaesthetics Changed the World
The Vaccinators: Smallpox, Medical Knowledge, and the Opening' of Japan
Stealing the Mystic Lamb: The True Story of the World's Most Coveted Masterpiece
The Story of Rats: Their Impact on Us, and Our Impact on Them
Chloroform: The Quest for Oblivion
The Japanese Consumer: An Alternative Economic History of Modern Japan
Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class 1780-1850
Selling Women: Prostitution, Markets, and the Household in Early Modern Japan
Charles Dickens: A Life
Edwardian London Through Japanese Eyes
Girl in a Green Gown: The History and Mystery of the Arnolfini Portrait
Mrs. Woolf and the Servants
Gillespie and I
Written Texts - Visual Texts: Woodblock-Printed Media in Early Modern Japan
Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews
The Commercial And Cultural Climate Of Japanese Printmaking
The Lens Within the Heart: The Western Scientific Gaze and Popular Imagery in Later Edo Japan
Japan in Print: Information and Nation in the Early Modern Period
Neville Chamberlain, Appeasment and the British Road to War
Servants, Shophands, And Laborers In The Cities Of Tokugawa Japan

« A Reading Rat, by Miyashita Tokio | Main | Happy New Year! »

Monday, 27 December 2010

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a0120a79b1c1a970b0148c7112e12970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Images of Beauty Throughout the Ages:

Comments

Jason Gignac

I'm interested, not knowing much about Japanese history at all, was inhumanly pale a beauty standard, or simply a painting shorthand? I thought makeup left a piece of skin unpainted at the nape of the neck, which makes me wonder if the paleness was universally required, if they would have painted their hands, as they are so white in the paintings as well.

Also, what's with the holding things in their teeth? Was this to show off their lovely teeth, or spare their hands the work, or what?

G. R. Collia

Pale skin was preferred. A white make-up was used on the face and neck, and courtesans (and some entertainers) applied it elsewhere too, such as their hands, feet and ankles, so they could show off pale feet when they shifted their skirts aside to give admirers a little thrill. There would have been a little area around the hairline at the nape of the neck that showed where the white make-up met the bare skin, but it's not always made obvious in prints. Utamaro designed an image of a woman powdering her neck that highlighted the contrast between the woman's skin and her make-up... It's one of my favourites, so I'll have to post it on here some time. Another reason for the paleness in the prints is that for the areas of bare skin the paper is simply left uncoloured.

As for holding things in the teeth, it depends on the object. Tissues being held in a courtesan's teeth tend to allude to her profession - she'd need them, after all. In other situations, biting down on fabric can signify the suppression of emotion.

Travis

Fascinating stuff as always. I look forward to some day getting a better feel for the hairstyles, their names, and when they were popular.

I am curious, why do you think the figure in the first image is Okuni? The squiggly hentaigana is a bit hard to make out, but I'm fairly certain the kanji for "Izumo" or "Okuni" do not appear...

Malcolm R. Campbell

What a wonderful series! I love your commentary.

Happy New Year.

Malcolm

G. R. Collia

Travis, the name is in there, though not in the usual kanji. Kiyochika designed another print of Okinu, for the series 'kyōdō risshi no motoi', in which she is dressed in a very similar manner. Can't find an image of that right now, but it's a lovely print and she's a very imposing figure in it.

G. R. Collia

Happy New Year to you too, Malcolm! Glad you enjoyed the prints. I love the vibrant colours... just breathtaking.

Diane A. Phillips

Thank you, thank you, thank you! for the incredible work you did on your catalog of Utamaro prints. I inherited a number of ukiyoe, including several Utamaros, and am able to find them in your catalog, all but one, which is an Ebisu which does not fit the descriptions of those in your catalog. The provenance goes back to the German ambassador to Japan during the 1930s, Solf, who was a friend of my parents-in-law and who gave them the print. Would you like me to email you a picture of it? Diane A.

The comments to this entry are closed.

A blog by Gina Collia-Suzuki: Art historian, history nut, writer, artist, Victorianist, bibliophile, vegetarian foodie, child of the Enlightenment, friend of Charles Darwin, full-time rat fancier and part-time assassin.


'There are three difficulties in authorship;- to write any thing worth the publishing - to find honest men to publish it - and to get sensible men to read it.' - Rev. Charles Caleb Colton

'A house without books is like a room without windows.' - Horace Mann

'I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.' - Dr.Samuel Johnson

Regular Reads

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...