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Maiko (3)

Saitō Kiyoshi (1907-1997)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Maiko (3)

by Saitō Kiyoshi, undated

(c. late 1960s to early 1970s)

Outskirts of Nara

IHL Cat. #1531

About This Print

One of at least fifteen prints from Saitō that depict maiko in various poses and from various angles. The first maiko print appeared in 1959 and continued into the 1960s and, possibly, into the early 1970s. This print is from an unnumbered (open) edition and is not dated, but is likely from the late 1960s to early 1970s. The print is also seen with the artist's signature in white ink (see below) rather than black ink, as on this collection's print.

 As with many of his prints, Saitō makes brilliant use of the natural grain of the woodblock.  Melanie C. Gibb comments on Saitō's use of woodblock grain in the catalog of the exhibition Revisiting Modern Japanese Prints" as follows:

He often began the carving process with a solid piece of katsura or plywood while later executing large areas of his designs with mokumezuri, or grain printing. This natural texture, exposed by scouring out the soft surface of the grain, is beautifully applied in the print Maiko, as seen in the large flat area of obi fabric which beautifully undulates against the curvilinear form of the geisha-in-training.

Maiko (3) with artist's signature in white ink

A Few Other Maikos

Maiko Kyoto (A), 1959
edition of 100
20 1/2 x 14 1/2 in. (52.1 x 36.8 cm)
Maiko Kyoto (E), 1960
edition of 200
Cleveland Museum of Art 1985.395

Maiko Kyoto (F), 1960
edition of 200
20 1/2 x 15 in. (52.1 x 38.1 cm)

Maiko Kyoto (G), 1961
20 15/16 x 15 1/4 in.
(53.2 x 38.7 cm.)
Artelino Auction Item 51018 

Maiko Kyoto (H), 1961
edition of 300
20 3/4 x 15 3/8 in. (52.5 x 39 cm)

Maiko Kyoto (I), 1961
edition of 300
23 1/2 x 18 in. (59.7 x 45.7 cm)
Cleveland Museum of Art

Maiko Kyoto (S), 1961
sheet: 32 5/16 in x 20 3/4 in.
(82.1 x 52.7 cm)
image: 29 5/8 in x 17 5/8 in.
(75.2 cm x 44.8 cm
Five Colleges and Historic Deerfield Museum Consortium SC 2017:2-25

 Maiko Kyoto (T), 1964
edition of 100
Cleveland Museum of Art 1985.391
Maiko (4), undated
open edition
15 3/4 x 10 3/4 in. (40 x 27.3 cm)

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1531
 Title untitled [(Maiko (3)]
 Series none
 Saitō Kiyoshi (1907-1997)
Kiyoshi Saito
 清 Kiyoshi seal
 Publication Date not dated (c. late 1960s to early1970s)
 Edition unknown
 Publisher self-published
 Carver self-carved
 Printer unknown
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent 
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Format dai oban
 H x W Paper 17 x 11 1/4 in. (43.2 x 28.6 cm)
 H x W Image 15 1/2 x 10 1/8 in. (39.4 x 25.7 cm)
 Collections This Print Northern Illinois University NIU 2005.33
 Reference Literature Revisiting Modern Japanese Prints: Selected Works from the Richard F. Grott Family Collection, Helen M. Nagata, Helen Merritt, Northern Illinois University Art Museum, 2007, cat. 20, p. 30, 56, 85.
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