Spring at Mount Arashi
signed on the right sheet, Oju ki-o Toyokuni ga (by request, with happiness [at the age of 77] drawn by Toyokuni), and on the left sheet, Hiroshige ga, with block carver's seal of Katada Chojiro, publisher's seal of Fujiokaya Keijiro, and censor's date seal, inu-juichi aratame (year of the dog , 11th month, approved), 1862
oban tate-e triptych 30 1/8 by 14 5/8 in., 76.5 by 37 cm
This print is one of fifteen collaborative 'joint-brush' Genji-themed triptychs issued by Kunisada with Hiroshige II between 1859 and 1864. Kunisada had also issued thirteen collaborative Genji triptychs with Hiroshige I, until the later's passing in 1858. This design, published in 1862, is particularly interesting because it introduces incongruous decorative elements such as the oriental carpets upon which a picnic is laid; and the central figure holds a decidedly foreign telescope. The layers of meaning conveyed by these visual cues are complex: the Inaka Genji subject is presented first within the context of the four seasons as identified in the title, but then the foreign elements seem to be a deliberate nod to the burgeoning market for Yokohama-e illustrating images of the foreigners recently settling in the port city of Yokohama.
Andreas Marks, Genji's World in Japanese Woodblock Prints, 2012, pp. 222; 230-231, cat. no. 239
(inv. no. 10-5071)
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site last updated
March 5, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
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