Title: Lost in Thought (Made by the writer)
Artist: Toyohara Kunichika
Culture : Japan
Medium: Ink on paper color woodcut
Dimensions: 34cm x 24 cm
Respiratory : Connecticut College
This 34cmx24cm color woodcut immediately presents the viewer in the foreground with a woman dressed in a sakkō. The Sakkō the woman is wearing has a combination of different hues that are black, white, red and blue. As you look at the woman’s face she has her face painted white with red lipstick on. The artist made the choice to have her thinking as she places her hand on top of her forehead gazing somewhere that the viewer can not see. In the middle ground there are white flowers and a fountain indicating that this woman could be in a garden. In the background there is a black painted piece of structure and trees. Interestingly, the artist made the choice of making the background dark blue in the bottom and progressively turns lighter as you move along the color woodcut.
The color woodcut is unique in its own way however there are some similarities and differences this work of art has compared to other general Japanese paintings. When comparing this to the old plum tree the difference there is that in this color woodcut their one human figure as the main focal point. Whereas, in the old plum the tree is used as the main center of the panels. What makes these two works of art similar is how architecture, figures and objects are used to lead the path of the viewer’s attention to one focal point.
References: Connecticut College Japanese Prints Collections inventory