Monday Morning Muse: Mermaid

This woodblock print by Japanese artist Tejima Keizaburō joined the collection in 2010.


Tejima Keizaburō was born and educated in Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s four main islands. Both in Japan and internationally, he is a beloved author and illustrator of children’s books, including “Owl Lake,” “Fox’s Dream,” and “Woodpecker Forest.” His woodcut technique lends itself to the rustic natural settings of the stories, all of which take place in the wilds of Hokkaido and feature animals as their protagonists. With this print, Tejima has turned his eye and chisel to the figure of a mermaid, making it unusual for his oeuvre. He possibly drew inspiration for this print from Hans Christian Andersen’s “Little Mermaid,” in light of the tale’s popularity in Japan and the pose of the central figure, which is reminiscent of the famous statue by Edvard Eriksen in Copenhagen’s harbor.

image source: Mermaid (edition 6/50)


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