Japanese Women, Simoda (Type I)
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of complete lithograph
It is generally accepted that some of the first pictures of Japan were taken by Brown, the photographer who took this picture (daguerrotype). The Japanese women in kimono were of particular interest to the artist of the expedition, William Heine. In his memoir of the expedition, Heine noted:
The kimono closes at the front, the ends being brought together, one atop the other, fastened with a sash, which rides around the lower torso and low on the hips, frequently even below them. .... A quick movement often exposes the breasts, perhaps also part of the legs. For this reason, decorous ladies of the upper classes walk slowly and take small steps. ...in the dialect of my native Saxony, we would call this...'shuffling like a bear.'
Commodore Perry visited the newly opened port of Simoda on the 18th of April, 1854. He remained there until the 9th of May. This particular excursion resulted in a total of 15 lithographs, which is approximately 17% of all the lithographs in the Narrative. It appears that Commodore Perry was very much impressed with Simoda and found many aspects of it to represent typical facets of Japanese culture and life. These were recorded in paintings by Heine.
The Narrative described Simoda as a town of approximately 1,000 houses and 7,000 inhabitants located on a small island near the mouth Yedo Bay. While the town appeared to the expedition members to be impoverished and lacking significant trading facilities, they were impressed with its beauty and cleanliness.
The titles/lettering read:
- Dag by E. Brown, Jr.
- T. Sinclair's lith. Phila. (Type I)
- T. Sinclair's lith. Philada. (Type II)
- JAPANESE WOMEN, SIMODA
Condition. Clean with stained area at the top right.
I have noted two types of this lithograph. I call this Type I. On the Type I the title to the right reads "T. Sinclair's lith. Phila.". On the Type II it reads "T. Sinclair's lith. Philada.". There are minor differences in the picture which are most evident in the pattern on the mat below the figure on the right. For more information on the two types, click here.
Page Size (cm): 28.6x22.3cm
Image Size (cm): Width-23.5, Height-15.9, Dia 28.4
Attribution: This lithograph has been positively confirmed to be from the Beverley Tucker, Senate Printing (1856), of the Narrative.
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