The Beauty of the Moment
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Honululu, Hawaii: The main focus of "bijinga" prints, or pictures of beautiful women was to capture a fleeting moment in the 18th and 19th century Japan. Photo courtesy: Museum Rietberg Zürich. All images ©Honolulu Museum of Art except otherwise mentioned.
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The Beauty of the Moment
Literally, bijinga means genres features beautiful people of both sexes but depictions of women are much more common.
The Beauty of the Moment
Detail from Dancers, ca. 1890, © 2012 Museo delle Culture, Lugano. The theme of 'beautiful women' has a very important place in the photos which were taken by photographers such as Kusakabe Kimbei, the Venetians Felice Beato and Adolfo Farsari.
The Beauty of the Moment
Courtesan (Tachi bijin zu) ca. 1710. Both in photography and in prints, the first artworks were black and white and later hand-colored.
The Beauty of the Moment
Princess Sannomiya, the Third Princess from the "Tale of Genji" (GEnji Monogatari Onna Sannomiya, ca. 1766.
The Beauty of the Moment
Flowers in the Wind ( Hana no kaze) by Utagawa Toyokuni I, active during 1769-1825, ca. 1795-1825.
The Beauty of the Moment
Tea house Maidens under a Wisteria Trellis by Kitagawa Utamaro, 1753-1806, ca. 1795. The idealized beauties are elegant and desirable women who may appear as courtesans (including prostitutes of various ranks), geishas (entertainers or performing artists)
The Beauty of the Moment
Lovers Sharing an Umbrella (Setchu aiaigasa), 1725?-1770.
The Beauty of the Moment
Vulgarly Called the Wanton (Zokuni iu bakuren) - A parent's moralizing spectacles (Kyokun oya no megane) by Kitagawa Utamaro, 1753-1806 ca.1802.
The Beauty of the Moment
Morning at the Temporary Lodgings (Karitaku no asa) by Kitagawa Utamaro, 1753-1806, 1801.
The Beauty of the Moment
Hanaogi of the Ogiya Brothel House at Edocho Itchome (Edocho Itchome Ogiya no uchi Hanaogi) - A Comparison of Courtesan Flowers, 1753-1806, 1801.
The Beauty of the Moment
Tsukasa Dayu of Higashi Ogiya in Osaka's Shinmachi District by Eishosai Choki, active ca. 1780-1809 ca. 1800.
The Beauty of the Moment
Preparing to Go Out (Mijimai Geisha) - Comparison of Modern Beauties (Tosei bijin awase) by Utagawa Kunisada I / Toyokuni III, active during 1786-1865, ca. 1830-1831.
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