Monday Morning Muse: Woman Walking

1961-87

This sketch by Gaston Lachaise joined the collection in 1961. Lachaise was an American sculptor of French birth, active in the early 20th century. A native of Paris, he was most noted for his female nudes (source).

While the sketch above is the only work by Lachaise in the Mead’s collection, the Smith College Museum of Art collection holds two sculptures and a drawing by the artist:

1923_6_1

Eternal Force, 1917

1935_6_1_a

Torso, 1933

1990_10

Seated Female Nude, n.d.

image sources : 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

 

 

 

Monday Morning Muse: Head of a Girl

1955-187This charcoal drawing of a young girl by American illustrator Harrison Fisher joined the collection in 1955. Fisher began his career as a newspaper and magazine illustrator and became particularly known for his drawings of women, which appeared regularly on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine from the early 1900s until his death in 1934. (source)

To read more about the life and work of Harrison Fisher, visit the National Museum of American Illustration artist’s webpage.

image source: Head of a Girl, Suzanna Bruyant

 

Monday Morning Muse: Unknown Courtesan

2005-211

This beautiful woodblock print of an ‘unknown courtesan’ joined the collection in 2005. The title of the series to which this print belongs is printed at upper-left in the multicolored cartouche: “A Comparison of Flowers at Night in the Cherry Blossom District.” The “Cherry Blossom District” is a reference to the Yoshiwara, Edo’s famed pleasure district and epicenter of the “Floating World,” the entrance to which was flanked by rows of cherry trees. At lower-right in the red toshidama cartouche is the artist’s signature, which reads “Toyokuni ga” (‘drawn by Toyokuni’). Immediately to the left of the signature is the mark of the woodblock carver, which reads “hori Fuji” (‘carved by Fuji’), followed in the lighter cartouche by the mark of the publisher Moriya Jihei of the firm Kinshindō. The small circular seal to the right of the toshidama cartouche at lower-right is the censor’s date seal, indicating that the print was inspected and approved in the eighth month of 1858.

image source: Unknown Courtesan, from the series “A Comparison of Flowers at Night in the Cherry Blossom District” (‘Hana kurabe kuruwa yo sakura’)