Utagawa Kuniyasu


Preparatory Drawing of Parody of Shi Jin, the Nine Dragoned, Akomi of the Ogiya
(Kyumonryu Shinshin no mitate, Akomi no Ogiya)

sumi ink on paper, unsigned, with notations regarding colors, ca. 1830s

conserved on achival paper 15 3/4 by 11 in., 40.1 by 27.8 cm

Although the title cartouche is missing, the design is from a very scarce Suikoden mitate-e (parody) series published by Kagaya Kichiemon (Kichibei), the same publisher who produced Kuniyoshi's famous circa 1827-30 series, Tsuzoku Suikoden goketsu hyakuhachinin no hitori (One Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Shuihuzhuan). Kuniyasu's version uses the same exact series and print titles, with the addition of the names and houses of featured courtesans.

The drawing appears to be a near-final version of a composition with very detailed instructions for the carver and printer on how the coloration should be addressed. It was discovered within a small collection of preparatory works, some of which were matched directly to published prints by Kunisada (1786-1865), Teisai Sencho (active ca. 1830-1850), Keisai Eisen (1790-1848), and this print by Kuniyasu.

Keisai Eisen: Artist of the Floating World, Chiba City Museum of Art, 2012, p. 83, pl. 66 (similar pose by Eisen)
Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, accession no. 1999.130
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession no. 11.37181
(inv. no. 10-2687)


Utagawa Kuniyasu

Kuniyasu, ca. 1830s, Green Collection, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, accession no. 1999.130

Utagawa Kuniyasu

Eisen, Tatsunokuchi, Oi of Suga-Taebiya, ca. 1829


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site last updated
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