GAKUTEI YASHIMA ( 1786 ?- 1868 )
From the suite: Allusion to the seven deities of happiness ( Mitate Shichifukujin )Among the seven deities of happiness, Benzaiten, the only woman, is associated with art, eloquence, the feminine world and love. Naturally she is the patroness of dancers, geishas and musicians, her favorite instrument being the biwa (element found in this surimono).Small ink stains.SurimonoNishiki-eshikishibanCa.1890Edmond de Goncourt defined them as follows: “The sourimonos […], these images which, through the silkiness of the paper, the quality of the colors, the care of the printing, and the gold and silver, and again by this complement of the embossing […] - these images having nothing similar in the engraving of any people of the earth" Unlike prints produced by publishers for the general public, surimono prints are private, non-commercial commissions, published in very small numbers. His prints are often commissioned by literary circles and others on special occasions: invitations, New Years, commemoration, new theatrical performances, etc. Surimonos are created and addressed to a bourgeois city elite, keen on literature, navigating between classical culture and contemporary entertainment. Freed from commercial constraints, these surimonos are characterized by luxurious prints, using rare metallic pigments and sophisticated printing techniques: embossing, paper polishing, lacquering. The artist enjoys great freedom of expression and artistic interpretation. The value of the surimono is due to the double semantic complexity of the poems and the image. (cf: SURIMONO, Treasures of Japanese prints, Co-edition Fondation Jerzy Leskowicz / In Fine éditions d'art - with the support of the Fondation Franco-Japonaise Sasakawa, 2019)..