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From the Same Artist / Collection
Girl Holding Umbrella
by unattributed / Adolfo Farsari


Specifically accredited to Adolfo Farsari. The girl holding the umbrella wears the typical dress of a Japanese woman. On the side of her kimono dress hangs an obiage, a cloth belt to cover part of the kimono. Her hair is in what is known as momoware or ofuku, which is derived from the idea of a split peach. In the background is a scenic view of Mount Fuji.

About the Artist

Our inaugural exhibition aims to capture the elegance of ‘Old Japan’, seen through the lens of photographers living and working during the late Edo period (1872-1912). Born out of a Western fascination with the insular Japanese culture, new trade routes facilitated the meeting of Western and Eastern artisans, as well as tourists hungering for visual depictions of a world they’d never seen before. With Western photographers staging idealized scenes of Japanese life, as well as Japanese craftsmen hand painting these images in the tradition of wood block prints, the resulting images capture an imagined golden era of Japanese society that has come to be cherished by Western art-enthusiasts and Japanese ethnographers alike. These images were key not only in shaping foreigners perception of Japanese culture, but also to some extent how the Japanese saw themselves.

The name Technicolour Japan refers to the bold colors that were hand painted upon black and white prints, making each a unique piece of art. Also known as albumen silver prints, these are the first commercially used method of producing photographic prints from a negative by using the albumen found in egg whites to bind the chemicals to the paper forming a photograph. Out of the more than 9,000 original photographic images contained in Vue Privee’s private collection, la collection vue privée, there are a total of 180 meticulously preserved original Japanese albumen images.

In the last part of the 19th century most Europeans were denied access to the Japanese territory. Only a select few foreigners obtained permission to photograph images of what is known as ‘Old Japan’. The most recognized of these photographers was Adolfo Farsari. Though the figures depicted in his work were posed, they still give us an insight into the customs and style of the Japanese Victorian era. A self-taught photographer working from his Yokohama-based studio, Farsari designed most of his work to be sold to foreign tourists. By 1887 Farsari was the only foreign photographer working in Japan. His success can be attributed to both his expertise with the camera and his method of employing the most skilled artisans to hand paint his albums. After most of his work was destroyed in a fire, Farsari embarked on a trip around Japan to recapture his images. By 1880, his body of work encompassed over a thousand images. Farsari left Japan in 1889 to return to his native country, Italy. In order to facilitate the reinstatement of his citizenship, he gave a lacquered album of his best images to the King. He was given his citizenship back and died in 1898 in Vicenza, Italy. Even after his return to Italy, the success of Farsari’s studio in Japan continued and there is evidence of its progress until 1917.

Print Series

  •  28 x 35cm, edition limited to 500
    Giclée print on matte archival paper
  • l'aventurier
  •  40 x 50cm, edition limited to 100
    Giclée print on matte archival paper
  •  60 x 75cm, edition limited to 100
    Giclée print on matte archival paper


Find out more about the VP Series »

Price  S$80.00


* All prints come with a minimum of 10mm border to allow
   for framing or mounting.

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