thirty beautiful women

Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Inquisitive: the appearance of a maid of the Tempo era, No. 13
Series; Thirty-Two Aspects of Women (Fuzoku sanjuniso)

Yoshitoshi’s Thirty-two Aspects of Women - Yoshitoshi’s finest series of bijin-ga, or pictures of beautiful women, Thirty-two Aspects of Women features illustrations of beauties in a lighthearted reference to the thirty-two notable features of Buddha. The women depicted come from all social classes, representing beauties from the late 18th century through Yoshitoshi’s own time.

Each design captures a woman in a scene from daily life, realistically and sensitively portrayed as individuals rather than idealized figures. Sumptuous fabrics are beautifully rendered, and hairstyles and facial features are drawn with the most delicate of lines. The series was beautifully printed using the most costly techniques, such as delicate bokashi shading, embossing, and burnishing, creating some of the finest prints of the Meiji era.

Thirty-two Aspects proved popular with the public when published in 1888, and has been appreciated by viewers and collectors ever since. Designs in this fantastic series are some of the most highly sought after woodblocks of the Meiji era, and are certainly considered great masterworks of Yoshitoshi’s career.