Woodblock Print of French Photographer Likely a depiction of Antoine Fauchery and his wife
[Japan] Wonderful woodblock print by Utagawa Yoshikazu showing a French man using a camera with presumably his wife standing behind him. The censor seal indicates this print was published in the 2nd month of the first year of the Bunkyu era (1861-64) which equates to March 1861. The number of Western photographers in Japan in early 1861 at that time can be counted on one hand. Pierre Rossier was Swiss and had left by 1860, Beato didn't arrive until 1863, so assuming the couple is French, the only real candidate is Antoine Fauchery (1823-1861). He was known to have travelled with his wife but, sadly, Fauchery died at the end of April 1861 after only having been in Japan for about 3 months. He is supposedly buried at the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery but his grave has not been found there as it was probably lost in an earthquake and/or maybe only had a simple marker.
Published by Izumiya Ichibei. Signed Ichikawa Yoshikazu Ga. 1861.
Single oban print as issued. 37.2 x 24.9cm.
Some darkening at edges, stain above camera. A few tiny worm holes and general age wear. Unbacked. u34101267