The Fox Woman by Bertha Lum

The Fox Woman by Bertha Lum

The Fox Woman

Bertha Lum

Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.
Title

The Fox Woman

 
Artist

Bertha Lum

  1869 - 1954 (biography)
Year
1916  
Technique
color woodcut 
Image Size
16 1/2 x 10 1/8" image 
Signature
pencil, middle lower image 
Edition Size
at least 197, this impression "no. 105". 
Annotations
inscribed: Copyright 1916 by Bertha Lum; also "no. 105" in the lower right corner of the image 
Reference
Gravalos Pulin 38; illustrated p. 40; Library of Congress copyright, 1916. 
Paper
ivory laid Japanese 
State
published 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
CAAL157 
Price
$3,500.00 
Description

In Japan, foxes play an important role in the spiritual practices of the Inari shrines, and fox deities, known as kitsuri, are seen as symbols of protection. When money replaced rice as the measure of wealth in the early 17th century, followers of Inari in Ginza struck coins with an image of two foxes to be used as offerings to the shrine for good luck. Western artists often found inspiration in the fox deities as well, as with Bertha Lum in “The Fox Woman,” perhaps borrowing inspiration from the Japanese belief that any woman walking alone at dusk or night could shapeshift into a fox to protect herself from harm - or to woo a lover.

Bertha Lum notes on page 37 of her 1916 book 'Gods, Ghosts, and Goblins': "From ancient times to the present day foxes have played an important part in Oriental lore. A fox is supposed to live eight hundred years, and when it is three hundred it can take a human shape...

When one hundred years old he can become a "ton," a beautiful woman who has the powers of sorcery and who knows events a thousand miles distant and can possess and bewilder people until they lose their memory. This impression was exhibited in "Visions of the Orient: Western Women Artists in Asia 1900-1940" at the Pacific Asia Museum. 

Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.