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Utagawa Kunisada
1786-1865 and
Utagawa Kunihisa

Flower Banquet, Evening Bell: Katsuragi
Hana-no-en no banshô- Katsuragi

Utagawa Kunisada

Colour print from woodblocks with burnishing (tsuyazuri), blind embossing (karazuri) and scattered mica. Publisher: Kakumotoya Kinjirô.

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From the series Genji mitate hakkei no uchi (An 'Eight Views' Genji).

Kunisada portrays the actor Iwai Kumesaburo III as Katsuragi, a female character from the novel by Ryûtei Tanehiko, Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji (False Murasaki and Rural Genji), 1829-42. The landscape background was designed by Utagawa Kunihisa (1832-91), pupil and son-in-law of Kunisada who moved into Kunisada's house in 1852.

The carving and printing of this series is particularly spectacular in luxury impressions such as this, with burnishing (tsuyazuri) to create additional shiny patterns in the purple kimono and red cartouche (only visible from certain angles), the elaborate embossing (karazuri) to create the pattern in the white collar and other parts of the costume, and the mica across the top of the sky.

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam with the aid of the MGC Purchase Grant Fund and the National Art Collections Fund, 1999


Click for Yoshitoshi's Rural Genji