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An image of Evening glow at Seta by Utagawa KUNISADA II


(Japan 1823 – 1880)

Evening glow at Seta
Other titles:
Eight Views of Lake Biwa: Evening glow at Seta
Alternative title:
Ômni hakkei no uchi
Place of origin
Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615 - 1868 → Japan
Media category
Materials used
colour woodcut; ôban triptych

35.0 x 74.5 cm:

a - right image - female with mountain in background; 35 x 24.7 cm

b - centre image - seated female with flowers; 35 x 24.8 cm

c - left image - male; 35 x 24.7 cm

Signature & date
Signed l.r. [left sheet: part c] in Japanese, black ink "[Baichôrô Kunisada ga]". Signed l.l. [centre sheet: part b] in Japanese, black ink "[Nidai-me Kunisada ga]". Signed l.r. [right sheet: part a] in Japanese, black ink "[Ichijusai Kunisada ga]". Not dated.
Gift of G F Williams 1995
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

KUNISADA II (Toyokuni IV) was a pupil of KUNISADA I, and married his master's daughter in 1852. Around the time he changed his 'gô' from Kunisama to names such as Kunisada II, Ichijusai, Baichôrô, then Toyokuni in the early 1870s. He produced many characters of the so-called 'decadent' period of late 'ukiyo-e'.

The bridge over the Seta River was one of the icons of Lake Biwa and a favourite subject of 'meisho-e', ‘pictures of famous places’. In the late Edo period, the focus of 'meisho-e' shifted from the landscape to the depiction of people, while 'ukiyo-e' artists often made satirical references to poetic sites as a means of adding sophistication to images of beautiful women. In this design, the view is merely a backdrop to the figures. The artist’s main concern is the sumptuous kimonos and contemporary details, such as the 'Inaka Genji'-inspired ‘prawn-tail’ hairstyle worn by the man.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW.

Bibliography (1)

Gary Hickey, Genji - the world of the Shining Prince, 'Genji in the 'Floating World' ', pgs. 30-41., Sydney, 2008, 36 (colour illus.), 50-51 (colour illus.). fig. 16. The colour illus. on pages 50-51 is a detail of this work. In the exhibition list of works this piece was incorrectly attributed to acc. no 289.2007.4 of the same chapter title.

Exhibition history (1)

Genji - the world of the Shining Prince, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Dec 2008–15 Feb 2009