Suzuki Harunobu, Young Beauty Carrying a Child Pulling a Flower Cart

Suzuki Harunobu, ca. 1724-70

Young Beauty Carrying a Child Pulling a Flower Cart

signed Harunobu ga, ca. 1770

chuban tate-e 10 3/8 by 7 5/8 in., 26.2 by 19.4 cm

A teenaged girl, wearing a furisode (lit. 'swinging sleeves') kimono decorated with an alternating pattern of stylized chidori (plovers) and clusters of snow-covered bamboo, walks while holding a small boy in her arms. As she steps forward her kimono opens at the hem to reveal a peek at her bare leg. The child holds a long cord attached to a small flower cart containing a basketwork vase with an arrangement of autumnal leaves and grasses including chrysanthemums and kikyo (bell flowers).

The poem is by Fujiwara no Michitoshi (1047-1099) from the Kin'yo wakashu (Collection of Golden Leaves), an anthology of waka poems compiled for the retired Emperor Shirakawa (1053-1129) by Minamoto no Shunrai (ca. 1055-1129) in 1124 and revised in 1129.

Sakari naru
magaki no kiku wo
kesa mire ba
mata sora saenu
yuki zo tsumoreru

I get up early
this morning to find flowers
the chrysanthemums
flowering upon my hedge
as if the snow covered it

—Poem reading courtesy of Ryoko Matsuba, translation by Matsuo Shukuya

Reference:
Art Institute of Chicago (artic.edu), from the Clarence Buckingham Collection, accession no. 1928.919

$12,000

kikumon

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site last updated
May 13, 2019

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