A Japanese Devil?

“Among Pamela Colman Smith’s teachers at Pratt was Arthur Wesley Dow, who was trained in France. Apart from being an important painter of the period, he was also an art teacher strongly inspired by Japanese art.. Dow emphasized the Japanese virtues: the use of harmonic colours; the lack of shadowing; giving equal attention to what happens in the foreground and in the background.. He encouraged the students to study Japanese wood block prints with their bright colours. Such prints were already familiar to Pamela since her father had a large collection of them, and their significant influence can be found in Pamela Colman Smith’s illustrations in general and also in the Waite-Smith Tarot.” (Jensen, K. Frank: The Story of the Waite-Smith Tarot, p. 39)

I wonder if PCS discovered the Devil’s face in one of those wood block prints, or did it manifest out of PCS’s unconscious without a direct visual model. The RWS (or WST, which ever name you prefer) Devil’s face could also be a hybrid, combining some Japanese demon figure and that of a samurai.

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