Japan: A Record in Colour is the result of Victorian artist Mortimer Menpes’ visit to the nation of Japan in the 1880’s. Though the book has some text about the history and culture of Japan, dutifully transcribed by the artist’s daughter Dorothy, the bulk of the book is comprised of full color illustrative plates depicting the people and sights of Japan. Menpes’ watercolors are soft yet vivid. Despite being a stranger in a strange land, a European man in Asia in the 19th century, he depicts Japan and its people with a sweetness and a familiarity. His pictures may be colorful, but they do not feel exotic or exoticized.
Only 600 copies of the deluxe first printing were made. This copy is Number 83 of 600. It was purchased by the Fitchburg Public Library and bound in red buckram in 1942.
- Title: Japan: A Record in Colour
- Author: Mortimer Menpes and Dorothy Menpes
- Publisher: Adam & Charles Black
- Place: London, UK
- Year: 1901
- Edition: 1st
- Length: 206pp
- Dimensions: 8” x 10.5” x 2”
- Condition: Library binding. Cover has some general wear, scratches, and fading. Call number affixed to spine. Pages generally clean with some toning and spotting. No folds, tears, or marginalia. Full color plates throughout. Library pocket in front endpapers. Edge of bookblock slightly soiled.