(Japan 1823 – 1880)
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
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.
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.
Genji - the world of the Shining Prince, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Dec 2008–15 Feb 2009