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Unsigned / Unknown Artist

Chrysanthemums; Poem by Seiryutei Shuei

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Unsigned / Unknown Artist
Chrysanthemums; Poem by Seiryutei Shuei
Fan Print
Woodblock Print
c. 1840
9" x 11.5"
Very good color, impression and state, uneven bottom edge.

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Questions about this piece? 212.688.0188

About the art

This bold, beautiful fan print was inspired by several of Hiroshige’s similar designs for fans. Here, the bright blossoms of late summer chrysanthemums and daisies appear like clusters of fireworks lighting up the night sky. Actually cut from their sheet and used as fans, round uchiwa fan prints are among the rarest of ukiyo-e prints. Those that have survived are highly sought after by collectors.   

About the artist

There are some works that arrive in our collection by unknown artists, while there are others that may lack a signature, but can be attributed to a known artist after careful research. Certain genres, such as Meiji-period photography and shunga (erotic prints) frequently fall into this second category. It is difficult to identify early photographers because photography studios did not include credits in souvenir albums, many of which featured numerous photographers. In addition, photographers often bought the negatives of others and reproduced them as a part of their own portfolio. When attempting to make attributions, photographs with no credits are compared to the few that have attributions. Turning to shunga, nearly all ukiyo-e artists produced erotic prints, yet these prints are often unsigned to avoid trouble with the law. For these works, attributions are generally made based on stylistic analysis.

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