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Art & Design

Goshichi Harukawa, Woman by a Circular Window, 1920-1929, Gift of George Pierce Metcalf

Goshichi Harukawa Tani Seiko

Woman by a Circular Window

Goshichi Harukawa Japanese, ca. 1776-1831
Tani Seiko, engraver (inciser)
Woman by a Circular Window, 1920-1929
Woodblock print, ink, color, and metallic embelishment on paper
Length: 21.8 cm (8 9/16 inches)
Gift of George Pierce Metcalf 56.039.43

Gemlike in refinement, privately commissioned prints (surimono) were often designed as visual complements to poems and exchanged among members of the poetry group who composed the texts and underwrote publication costs. The RISD Museum owns an album of eighty-eight surimono compiled by the Osaka poet Iga no Kurimi (active 1810s — 1830s). It unites the skills of the great woodblock-cutter Tani Seiko¯ (active in Osaka during the 1820s) with poems by members of the Osaka ‘crane’ literary group. Woman by a Circular Window, inscribed by the group’s head, Tsurunoya (Ki no Osamaru, ca. 1751 — 1839), also bears Seiko¯’s seal at lower left. The album is one of at least two presented to American geologist Raphael Pumpelly during early 1863 in Japan. Its contents are among the first Japanese prints to enter the United States.

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