1895. Item #38944
[EHON - FAIRY TALES] BARBATOU, P. CHOIX DE FABLES DE LA FONTAINE. 2 volumes in 1. Tokio: MDCCCXCIV. Imprimerie de Tsoukidji-Tokio. (Printer: Kimura Tokutarô; First Series, printed September 20th, published September 30th; Second Series, printed October 10th, published October 20th, Meiji 27 . Large format plain paper book, bound with the original covers into a contemporary Western style half leather binding. The first volume is 20 X 30 cm, with 14 double page color woodcuts by Kano Tomonobu, Kajita Hanko, Kawanabe Kyôsui, and Okakura Shôsô called for. The "deuxieme serie" is similarly bound, 20 x 30 cm, with 14 prints by the four previously listed artists, along with Eda Sadashiko. This work, with its French text and literary origins, may be placed in the mainstream of an emerging international style in Japan. Yet it may be still be seen as squarely in the tradition of the Japanese illustrated book. It shares many of the characteristics of the revival of Japanese picture book printing in general at the end of the 19th century: an emerging Nihonga style which was an amalgam of theme and technique from East and West, skilled printing, increasingly restrained coloration, etc.. An interesting document of East-West cultural and artistic accommodation, which gave rise to such hybrid vigor in world art. The bound-in covers and contents are perfect. However, the leather binding is worn and was rebacked at some point. The two volumes, complete, and bound as one.