19th Century Photos – Japan Hand-tinted albumens 1890s
All these vintage photographs come from one collection and are on their original mounts.
Price: on request
Introduced in Europe in the 1840s, the practice of hand coloring photographs became more refined and widespread in Japan. By the 1880s, it had become a common practice and a defining characteristic of Japanese tourist photography.
After the establishment of the Meiji government, travel restrictions were eased and foreign tourists flocked to Japan. Photographs became popular souvenirs and a prosperous market emerged for Japanese tourist photography.
Why did travelers from the West prefer photographs that portrayed the traditional rather than the changing Japan? Japanese tourist photographs “enabled Westerners to control how they pictured this newly discovered place.” For many tourists, Japan offered an escape from modern industrial society to a more idyllic society rooted in traditional culture. They wanted images that confirmed romantic visions of Japanese history and culture, “and held their interest as a contrast to their own cultural environments.”. They wanted images of Mount Fuji, cherry blossoms, Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, samurai, and geisha – not images that reminded them of home.
Source: Harvard College Library; Early Photography of Japan