I only care about Hiroshige and some fine woodblock prints of Samurais with swords... but this painting here is really captivating. Its new, though. The artist grew up in Asakusa... needless to say that he learned everything firsthand. My first night in Japan I was hosted there for very exclusive Sushi and later Karaoke places... that was over 2 decades ago...
PAINTED HANGING SCROLLS
Ito Seiu (1882-1961)
Late Taisho/early Showa Era
Kakejiku, a vertical hanging scroll, ink and colours on silk, depicting a dramatic scene of bondage and tattooing aboard a pirate ship with ferocious pirates and several naked and semi-naked women, some already tattooed, lying on the deck or suspended from ropes or sails, the main subject a seated pirate in a check jacket tattooing the buttocks of a bound woman lying on his right knee, signed Seiu with seal Seiu; with wood storage box. 123cm x 41cm (48 3/8in x 16 1/8in). (2).
Ito Seiu (original name Ito Hajime) was born in the Asakusa district of Tokyo and enjoyed a varied artistic education in metalwork, ivory carving, painting and later sculpture. He started his career as a newspaper illustrator but is best known as the 'father of bondage painting', for which he used as a model Sahara Kise who later became his second wife; he also painted ghostly scenes and other subjects from the Edo Period, often drawing his inspiration from the work of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892). He fell foul of government censors during the 1930s and much of his work was destroyed during the Tokyo air raids of spring 1945; his surviving paintings are rare. For further information see Maboroshi no seme eshi Ito Seiu (Ito Seiu, Painter of Bondage Fantasies), Geijutsu shincho (April 1995), pp.1-67.
£3,000 - 5,000