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Beauty drinking tea from the series Newly Woven Brocades: Beauties of Musashi

The seventh month: Suketakaya Takasuke IV from the series Famous Views for the Twelve Months

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Beauty drinking tea

from the series Newly Woven Brocades:

Beauties of Musashi

by Toyohara Kunichika, 1883



IHL Cat. #1260

About This Print

Source: Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, p. 46.
A contemporary bijin sits sipping tea in a tea house, the interior of which is rendered using single point perspective introduced to Japan by the Dutch in the 17th century and in wide use in Japan by the late 18th century.  

The Series "Newly Woven Brocades: Beauties of Musashi"

Source: Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, p. 20.

In discussing this series, Newland in Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), states: "Complicated interior settings [appear in the series] Newly woven brocades: Musashi beauties (Nishiki ori Musashi no beppin) of 1883.  Here Musashi is a reference to the Musashi plain, which extended across Edo (modern Tokyo).  References to the Musashi plain emerged in early Japanese poetry....  The theme was taken up by ukiyo-e print designers, thus becoming strongly linked to Edo's cultural indentity.  In Newly woven brocades half-to three-quarter length portraits of individual women from the capital are placed in both interior and exterior settings..."

Newland goes on to say that the artist's rendering of beauties in this series offer a "more personalized female image more characteristic of Kunichika's age" and are a "far cry from lofty, unapproachable courtesan' of earlier times."

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1260
 Title (Description) Beauty drinking tea (poem in square cartouche is unread)
 Series Newly Woven Brocades; Beauties of Musashi
 錦織武蔵の別品 Nishiki-ori Musashi no Beppin
 Artists Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900) and Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831-1889)
 Signatures
豊原国周筆 Toyohara Kunichika hitsu with Toshidama seal
 Seals red Toshidama seal beneath signature
 Publication Date
December 1883 (Meiji 16) 御届明治十六年 十二月 日
 Publisher
Komiyama Shōbei (Shōhei) 小宮山昇平 [Marks; pub. ref. 269; seal ref. 26-136]


 Carver
Hori Nobu 彫延
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - full margins; unbacked; soiling; water spotting
 Genre ukiyo-e; bijinga
 Miscellaneous荒川八十八 [gakō (painter) Arakawa Yasohachi (Kunichika's mother's surname, Arakawa, and the artist's given name, Yasohachi, followed by the artist's address)]
 Format vertical oban 
 H x W Paper 
 14 3/8 x 9 5/8 in. (36.5 x 24.4 cm) 
 H x W Image
 14 1/4 x 9 7/16 in. (36.2 x 24 cm)
 Literature 
 Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), by Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, cat. 27 p. 64.
 Collections This Print
 Hagi Uragami Museum U01908
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