Warm, An Urban Widow of the Kansei era

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892

Thirty-Two Aspects of Customs and Manners: Warm, An Urban Widow of the Kansei era [1789-1801]
(Fuzoku sanjuniso: attakaso kansei nenkan choka goke no fuzoku)

the cat's fur printed with karazuri (lit. 'blind printing'), signed Yoshitoshi ga, with artist's seal Taiso, carver's seal Wada hori Yu, and publisher's date and address seal Meiji nijuichinen, sangatsu, nika; Tokyo Nihonbashi Bakurocho Nichome 14-banchi, Tsunajima Kamekichi (Meiji 21 [1888], March 2) of Tsujiokaya Kamekichi of Kinkido

oban tate-e 14 5/8 by 10 in., 37.1 by 25.4 cm

In this winter scene, a young woman reads a novelette while seated at a kotatsu (a heated table). The kotatsu is covered by a patterned green cloth, beneath which is a heat-producing brazier. She snuggles into the multiple layers of robes to keep herself warm, and her cat curled up on top of the kotatsu makes a convenient stand for her book. The pet is surely a much-needed companion as the title identifies her as a widow. Her shaved eyebrows indicate certain loyalty to her deceased spouse, however, the revealed red inner-robe, which the widow pulls towards her mouth, is playfully suggestive.

References:
Keyes 1983, p. 481, no. 503.5
Segi 1985, p. 92, no. 103.5
van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 139, no. 63.4
Stevenson 1995, no. 4
Akita Museum of Modern Art 1999, p. 45, no. 188
Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2009, p. 10, no. 1.4

$2,600

kikumon

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