Art on Tuesday: Misty Spring

Torii Kotondo 鳥居言人 (1900-1976) painted this Japanese woman in a typical way of the so-called 美人画 bijin-ga (picture of beautiful woman) in 1933. The young lady wears a purple kimono with simple outlines of flowers and diverse flower patterns on the obi. Contrast colors are to be seen on the inside of her dress and her headdress.  Cherry blossom leaves shaped as little hearts are falling like snow. You see her from the right side. She is looking at something or someone outside of the picture frame. Maybe she is dreaming of love.

This ukiyo-e reminds me of the Maiko in Spring by Kitano Tsunetomi 北野 恒富 (1880-1947) painted in 1931 presented in an older post as


Art on Tuesday: Morning Hair


This beautiful picture was painted by Torii Kotondo (1900-1976) in 1932. He was very famous for his many bijin-ga . The title of this ukiyo e is Morning Hair asa negami (朝寝髪). It’s number of prints was limited to approximately 30 copies. One cannot believe, that this ukiyo e was banned in the 1930’s. The comb in the right corner of the painting was understood as salacious by the authorities, so that Torii Kotondo had to destroy the original woodblock,  and most of the copies were confiscated by the police.

Art on Tuesday: Autumn Leaves

Torii Kotondo33

Autumn Leaves is the title of this ukiyo-e, painted by the Japanese artist Torii Kotondo in 1933. On the kimono you see momiji, maple leaves in orange-red shades, a typical color and motif of autumn in Japan.

Art on Tuesday: After the Bath


This ukiyo e is made by Torii Kotondo. After the Bath is its title. I like the abstract woodblock painting and the natural appearance of the woman. She is wearing a light cotton kimono and her bathing utensils. Looks very much like summer. I guess in the background are parasols.

Art on Tuesday: Rainy Season


From the beginning of June to the middle of July it is rainy season  in Japan, it is called tsuyu 梅雨, literally meaning plum rain. Although it is not always comfortable to be outside, there are some nice paintings showing the rain from an artist’s perspective. Enjoy the rain!

From left to right:

Torii Kotondo 鳥居言人 (1900-1976): Rain, 1929.

Kawase Hasui 川瀬 巴水 (1883-1957): Rain in a Town, 1930.

Ohara Koson 小原 古邨 (1877-1945): Two Girls with Umbrella Caught in a Sudden Shower, 1930.

Art on Tuesday: Combing the Hair


This beautiful ukiyo e is made by the Japanese painter Torii Kotondo (1900-1976). He is specialized in painting women, this was painted in 1933.

Look at the skillfully painted hair. One can see single strands of it. The different light brown to coal shades of the kimono pattern with Japanese flowers are very pleasing. What I like about the picture is the composition of the right top to left bottom axis: the colors change from deep blue to light almost transparent colors. The woman’s position is following that direction: with her hair combing gesture and her eye movements.