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Maker(s):Kono Bairei; Unsōdō, publisher
Culture:Japanese (1844–1895); Japanese (active since 1891)
Title:Monkey, from the Illustrated Book "Mirror of Paintings by Bairei" ('Bairei gakan')
Date Made:20th century
Materials:polychrome woodblock print
Place Made:Kyoto
Measurements:overall: 8 3/4 in x 10 1/2 in; 22.2 cm x 26.7 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2005.235
Credit Line:Gift of William Green
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

a design from the book of woodblock prints: Bairei Gakan; ehon; nishiki-e; re-issue

Label Text:
This print by the Kyoto-based designer Bairei Kono features a trained monkey in traditional garb, sitting with a leash attached to its collar. In contrast to Edo period (1603–1868) representations of monkeys in woodblock prints, Meiji Period (1868–1912) prints showed animals that were more naturalistic in style. Instead of the bold, stylized red lines that would have been used to indicate the monkey’s face during the Edo period, Kono shaded his monkey’s face with a far more realistic pink. While earlier prints in this section depict trained monkeys in situations that seem to blur the line between human and animal, these naturalistic representations reinforce that difference. – 2015

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