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Goyo (1880 - 1921)

Two Women After the Bath

Medium: Woodblock Print
Date: Designed July 1920
Size (H x W): 22 x 17 (inches)
Seals: Goyo (front), Honjo on reverse
Edition: Printed c. 1952. One of the posthumous prints based on drawings left to Goyo's family after his death in 1921. This design was never printed during Goyo's lifetime.
Signature: Goyo ga
Condition: Very good color, impression and state, light spotting visible on reverse, embellished with mica background.



Though Goyo typically depicts women alone in private spaces, in Two Women After the Bath he presents a pair of women attending to their toilette. The woman in the foreground crouches with one knee up against her chest; a simple cloth drapes around her waist. Behind her, the second woman dabs at her cheek with a cloth. Unlike her counterpart, the woman in the back is simply dressed. Goyo cleverly depicts her face through the mirror towards the view, echoing the work of another master of the bijin-ga (pictures of beautiful women) genre - Utamaro. The silver mica in the background give this otherwise simple prints a shimmering glamour and sophistication. Two Women After the Bath was never printed during Goyo's lifetime. The design was brought to life from one of Goyo's drawings by Yasuo Hashiguchi following his death. Design in 1920, this design was produced by Koichi Hirai and Kentaro Maeda c. 1952.

About the artist

Goyo Hashiguchi (born Kiyoshi Hashiguchi) was born in Kagoshima to Kanemitsu Hashiguchi, a Shijo-style painter. Goyo Hashiguchi began his career in Kano painting at age 10, moving to Tokyo in 1899 to study with the leading painter Gaho Hashimoto. He soon shifted to Western-style painting under the tutelage of Seiki Kuroda at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, where he graduated at the top of his class in 1905. Shortly thereafter, the prominent Shin Hanga publisher Shozaburo Watanabe convinced him to try his hand at woodblock printmaking. Watanabe published Goyo’s first woodblock print, Nude After Bathing in 1915. Goyo’s sensitive portrayal of women in a delicate, serene and infinitely graceful mode led to his immediate popularity.


Unlike many Shin Hanga print artists, Goyo Hashiguchi established his own workshop. His standards were so high that he rarely allowed his editions to run more than eighty prints. This decision resulted in some of the most technically superb woodblock prints to be produced since the late 18th century. On February 24, 1921, Goyo died from an ear infection, the aftermath of a severe case of influenza. Goyo’s entire artistic career spanned 15 short years, of which only the last five were spent producing prints. He completed a total of 14 prints. At his death, many of Goyo's works were left in various stages of completion. Members of his family completed these designs following his death.