Japanese children, c. 1885
A hand-coloured, unmounted albumen print showing six Japanese children, with the two eldest carrying the two youngest on their backs.
Photographed by Kusakabe Kimbei.
Numbered ‘217’ in the negative and titled ‘Group of Children.’
Prior to opening his own studio, the Japanese photographer Kusakabe Kimbei worked for Felice Beato and Baron von Stillfried as a photographic assistant and as a colourist. In 1881 he established a studio in Yokohama and within ten years his had become one the leading Japanese studios supplying photographs to Western customers. Around 1885 he acquired the negatives of both his former employers (Beato and Von Stillfried), a cause of much confusion for modern-day photo-historians seeking to attribute individual images to particular photographers. Kimbei (his mostly Western customers preferred to use his given name rather than his family name) retired around 1914 and died in 1934.
Condition: the print presents a very slight loss of tone at its upper and lower edges but is otherwise in excellent condition, with rich and satisfying tones.
Dimensions: the print measures 7.9” by 10.1” (20 cm by 25.9 cm).