Art on Tuesday: Shy

nakayamashukoThis ukiyo e was painted by the female Japanese artist NakayamaShuko 中山秋湖 in approximately 1924. It is called hazukashiki hito, which means “shy person”.  Little is known of the artist’s life, but some very amazing woodblock prints are still available. This delightful picture of a woman is painted in pastel colors. She wears a kimono with a flower ornament. She is styled perfectly: Her hairdo, her make-up and her clothes. Her looks are somehow melancholic. She is hiding her face behind a round fan. It has leaf ornaments, but different from the kimono pattern. She wears a quite eye-catching ring of black color. One thinks of Kawabata’s novel Beauty and Sadness.

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