A Street in KiotoZoom In
Japan a Record in ColourZoom In
A Street in Kioto, Book IllustrationZoom In

A Street in Kioto by Mortimer Menpes

In the book, Japan, a Record in Colour, which Mortimer Menpes produced with his daughter, Dorothy, and published in 1901, we learn about Menpes' delight in what he saw and experienced.

'When you just arrive in Japan you are at once impressed with the perfect placing of everything about you. You find yourself surrounded by a series of beautiful pictures; every street that you see on your journey from the station to the hotel is a picture... In fact, the whole of Japan is one perfect bit of placing.'

Menpes' eye for harmony and composition had been informed by his years working closely with Whistler - and, of course, by the contemporary fashion for collecting Japanese artefacts, in which both Whistler and Menpes indulged. The poise with which this Japanese woman is placed, in the centre of the little picture, with the lower half of the image being filled with an empty, dirt road, is exquisite. The picture was reproduced facing page 82, in the 1901 Japan (shown here for reference).

Watercolour and bodycolour
Size Unframed:
3½ins x 4¾ins
9cms x 12cms
Size Framed:
11½ins x 12¼ins
29cms x 31cms