Skip to content

Collection

An image of The law (Chapter 40) by Utagawa KUNISADA II

Utagawa KUNISADA II

(Japan 1823 – 1880)

Title
The law (Chapter 40), from the series Playing cards of Murasaki Shikibu's Genji
Other titles:
Chapter 40 The rites
Place of origin
Japan
Period
Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615 - 1868 → Japan
Year
1857
Media category
Print
Materials used
colour woodcut; ôban
Dimensions

32.8 x 23.3 cm image; 33.2 x 23.5 cm sheet

Signature & date
Signed l.r., in Japanese, black ink "[Baichôrô Kunisada ga]". Not dated.
Credit
Gift of G F Williams 1995
Accession number
425.2001.4
Location
Not on display
Further information

Using the best quality papers, ink and gold leaf, 'Playing cards of Murasaki Shikibu’s Genji' is considered to be Utagawa Kunisada II’s most successful series. Evoking the Heian-period court game of shell matching, 'kai awase', each print in this series is identified by two shells, one of which bears the title and the other a 'Genji-mon', a crest corresponding to a chapter of the Tale.

In this series, Kunisada II relies heavily on the Genji images that his teacher and father-in-law, Kunisada, created for the illustrated book series 'Nise Murasaki inaka Genji', instead of merely transposing conventional iconography into a modern setting.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW.

Exhibition history (1)

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