Kunisada (Toyokuni III)

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)


One Hundred Beauties from Famous Places in Edo: Hatchobori
(Edo meisho hyakunin bijo: Hatchobori)

signed Toyokuni ga within the artist's Toshidama cartouche, inset landscape cartouche signed Kunihisa ga (Utagawa Kunihisa II, 1832-1891), publisher's seal Tsujiyasu (Tsujiya Yasubei of Kinkaido), censor's seal aratame, date seal Mi-juni (year of the snake [1857], 12th month)

oban tate-e 13 5/8 by 9 3/4 in., 34.6 by 24.9 cm

A beauty seated by a mosquito net grips a packet of tissues in her teeth while using a small comb at the nape of her neck. She wears a lightweight rose-colored kimono with a pink pattern of stylized plum blossoms and hanshiro-ganoko (hemp leaf pattern) which is offset by a blue and white collar of sayagata (interlaced 'manji' characters). To her right is a large blue and white porcelain wash basin filled with water. The woven hemp mosquito net draped beside her conceals her bedding from which she seems to have just emerged.

This composition is from the large, collaborative bijin series Edo meisho hyakunin bijo (One Hundred Beautiful Women at Famous Places in Edo) by Kunisada and a group of his pupils. In this print, the inset landscape cartouche is signed by Utagawa Kunihisa II (1832-1891), a student and eventual son-in-law of the master Kunisada. By the mid-19th century, the Utagawa school was the dominant group of ukiyo-e print designers, and such collaboration within the school was not at all unusual. The view seems to be a bird's eye view from the top of one of the warehouses lining the Hatchobori (Eight-Cho Canal) directly west towards the bamboo yards lining the Kyobashi River.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (www.mfa.org), from the Bigelow Collection, accession nos. 11.15358 and 11.45238

(inv. no. 10-4725)

price: $1,100

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)



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site last updated
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