Miller, Lilian (1895 - 1943), "Hunt for The Scarlet Slipper"
|Title||Hunt for The Scarlet Slipper|
|Medium||Original Japanese Woodblock Print|
|Edition||First and only.|
|Publisher||The Artist - Privately Published|
|Reference No||Brown: Fig. 28; Cat. 41|
|Size||9 -3/4 x 6 -1/4 "|
|Condition||Fine, with superb colors; toned.|
Notes: Still tipped to the original artist portfolio. This impression is offered in complete original condition. Mica background is pristine, with only a faint amount of toning from being stored in the original studio folio.
In September 1920 Miller turned to the production of woodblock prints, looking to make a living as well as a name in art. This design is one of the earliest works created from her inception as a woodblock print artist. A beautiful work, with a striking mica background. This piece displays Miller's playful side, with a girl looking for her lost slipper; just at the border of the design.
Lilian Miller's intent to charm a Western audience is most evident in her text for this design, "Two little Korean girls come hurrying past me along a winding alley. "They must be going to a feast," I thought to myself, "for they are in such clean white jackets and pretty colored skirts. Any Little Brother is in his best white trousers and gayest jacket, and they all three seem so pleased and excited."
Just then the little girl nearest me slipped and lost her gaily decorated little scarlet shoe. "I-qu, I-qu," she exclaimed anxiously, "I have dropped my worthless shoe! Honorable Sister, pray wait one little moment." Honorable Sister slackened her hurried footsteps and the little shoe being retrieved, the trio went happily on together.
Perhaps the end of their story is that they arrived at their destination and had a festive time together feasting on a great multitude of delicious cakes. But the end of my story is that they kept haunting the mind of the artist....their bright skirts and that little scarlet shoe dropped off and lying in the middle of the street. So I have transferred them onto paper and here they are for you to also enjoy!"
This print is the most abstract of the works from 1920 with spatial disjunctions resulting from the absence of a ground plane and the protrusion from the framed picture plane of one sister's right hand and the lost scarlet shoe. The lack of "real space" relocates the entire event from the realm of actual children in Korea to the "mind of the artist". Stylistically, this work, like so many of her 1920 prints, stresses description over mood or formal structure in its emphasis on narrative.
Provenance: Acquired directly from a descendant of the L.M. Miller family. This was accompanied with the entire family collection of remaining works; including original paintings, pencil sketches and one of a kind proofs.