Monday Morning Muse: Bunraku Doll O-shichi

The following woodblock print of a bunraku doll by Japanese artist Hiratsuka Un’ichi joined the collection in 2010.


One of the most important artists of the sōsaku hanga movement, Hiratsuka Un’ichi was a successful teacher, author, and artist whose individual style and methods influenced many printmakers of the period. This work in particular is emblematic of his techniques and training, as it features traditional Japanese art forms—the bunraku doll and several ukiyo-e prints, including a kacho-ga by Andō Hiroshige, visible at left—rendered in large-scale with jagged, “sawtooth” lines. This style, typical of his output after 1935, was a result of his highly individual technique, which involved a flat knife and V-shaped chisel, in distinction to the curved scraper employed by traditional woodblock craftsmen, like Igami Bonkotsu, under whom he studied around 1915.

image source: Bunraku Doll O-shichi


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