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Untitled (Woman with Umbrella)

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Kimbei Studios, Japanese
Untitled (Woman with Umbrella), c. 1890
Photographic materials and colors on paper
8 1/4 x 10 1/4 in. (21 x 26 cm)


Object Type: Photography
Technique: Photography
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Purchase, Scripps Collectors' Circle
Accession Number: 2013.3.33


Commentary
This work is one of 50 hand-colored albumen prints of protraits and scenes of Japanese life.

Content : Gilt-edge leaves are tabbed into album with lacquer boards and leather spine, with the title, "Japan," in gold. Front cover has hand-painted and inlaid scene of a man pulling a rickshaw in which a woman with an umbrella is seated. Both wear traditional garb. Inlays are of ivory. Back cover is painted with the images of a dragonfly, cricket, praying mantis, butterfly and another winged insect, possibly a bee. End papers and doublure are of imitation moire.

Content : Views are numbered with Arabic numerals in negative.

Medium
hand-colored albumen print

Object Description
Unlike most of the works in the album, this is a vertical composition. It is a studio image. The image takes a third of the picture plane; the rest is simply a field of beige. A woman, in traditional Japanese dress, stands in the center of the photo. Her kimono is patterned with flowers; her gleaming dark hair is carefully coifed, pulled away from her face and up in a bun at the back of her head. Her face is framed by the umbrella she holds. The spokes of the umbrella radiate from the center, located just behind her head. Her gaze is to the viewer's right; she seems to be deep in thought. Her right hand rests on what appears to be a rustic wooden gate. Behind her, the viewer is given a glimpse of trees, mountains, and water in the background.

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