Hokkei, Totoya; designer; Japanese printmaker, 1780-1850
circa 1830 circa 1839
Surimono. Colour print from woodblocks, with metallic pigment. 1830s. Poetry by Shinbuntei Nagatake and Kisaro? Kiyonori
given; 1937; Barron, E. Evelyn
This print exudes an exquisitely delicate classicism, partly due to its colours and restrained printing, but more to the scene from the novel The Tale of Genji shown painted in the pair of seashells. Prince Nioi (Fragrance) had fallen in love at first sight with Lady Ukifune (Floating Boat), the mistress of his friend Kaoru, who subsequently hid her away. Nioi sought her out and disguised himself as Kaoru so that he could finally be alone with her. When Kaoru eventually discovered that Nioi had become her lover, Ukifune fled to a nunnery and renounced the world. Nioi and Ukifune were often illustrated in a boat floating on the River Uji on a moonlit night after a snowfall, one of the most famous and beautiful scenes in the novel. The special feature here is their appearance on two sea shells used in a popular shell matching game.
Object Number: P.370-1937
(Paintings, Drawings and Prints)
(record id: 166018; input: 2011-03-29; modified: 2011-03-30)