With its elegant design and expressive artistry, this print is highly sought after. The figure of the young woman is nearly monochromatic, her kimono the same tone as her skin. Her red lips and a glimpse of the red obi serve as eye-catching pops of color. Because the woman and kimono are the same pale color, she stands out vividly from the background of colorful foliage and flowers. This print is especially significant because it is the last work Goyō supervised while on his deathbed. The completed work was printed after 1949. Key block carver: Masazo Koike. Color block carver: Kentaro Maeda. Printer: Koichi Hirai. Reverse a collection seal
Goyo Hashiguchi (né Kiyoshi Hashiguchi) was born in Kagoshima to Kanemitsu Hashiguchi, a Shijo-style painter. Goyo 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 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 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 artists, Goyo 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, Goyo left many works in various stages of completion. Members of his family completed these designs following his death.