Though the artist of Kojima zu
is unknown, the specific subject matter of this edition gives scholars good reason to suspect that it was created during the last hurrah of ukiyo-e. Japanese style ukiyo-e woodblock printing took shape in the 17th century. From its early days through its peak popularity as an art form, it focused on city life, courtesans, and actors. Economic policy changes in the 1840s sought to suppress displays of luxury. As the culture changed, ukiyo-e adjusted its subject matter: focusing on scenes of nature like landscapes, birds, and flowers. This final era of ukiyo-e is perhaps its best known in the Western world, though of course there's a long history ukiyo-e masters that predate this thematic shift.
It’s easy to make the connection from Kojima zu
to our other ukiyo-e woodblock editions. As with our Uehara Konen
images, a focus is given to one element of nature: water. Like Hiroshige
and Hiroshige II
, masters of that same era, fine lines show the movement of the water. The scene is serene, but the water swells with life force. It's an island image with a distinctively ukiyo-e energy.
We couldn't say which island is depicted in this print. The sound “ko” in Japanese means “small”, and the sound “jima” (also spelled “shima”) means island. Thus, many islands dotting the waters off the coast of Japan are called Kojima, written as 小島, or “small island”. Most of these islands are uninhabited, but a few have gained notoriety: one for being the home to many wild monkeys and another for being a wildlife monument.
+ Museum quality: archival inks, 100% cotton rag paper unless noted
+ Signed + numbered certificate of authenticity included
+ Directly supports the artist
+ Handcrafted custom-framing is available
Our quoted dimensions are for the size of paper containing the images, not the printed image itself. We do not alter the aspect ratio, nor do we crop or resize the artists’ originals. All of our prints have a minimum border of .5 inches to allow for framing.
Medium: Museo Portfolio Rag