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Lady of the Court Uematsu Michiko from the series List of Musical Beauties

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Lady of the Court Uematsu Michiko

from the series List of Musical Beauties

by Toyohara Kunichika, 1878

Court Lady Yanagihara Aiko from the series List of Musical Beauties


IHL Cat. #1227

About This Print

One of six prints in the series List of Musical Beauties issued in 1878.  In this print the court lady (of the junior fifth rank) Uematsu Michiko plays a hichiriki 篳篥, a small double-reed instrument made out of bamboo with 7 holes on top and 2 below.  Her beauty and music are compared to the flower and bird pictured in the fan-shaped cartouche. 

Another State of This Print
Another state of this print exists (see below) which has an additional cartouche on the left providing the name of the lady pictured and her rank 從位五植松務子 in addition to the series name in the multi-colored cartouche in the upper right also appearing on this collection's print.  This other state also carries a date seal and the seal of the publisher which are not on this collection's print.  Small differences in the color scheme can also be seen between the two states, most easily in the background color of the fan-shaped cartouche.

A different state of the print


The Series List of Musical Beauties

A six print series (see below) picturing famous court ladies of old playing classical court music (gagaku 雅楽 ) on traditional instruments. Their beauty is compared to the flower pictured in the fan-shaped cartouche and their music to the song of the pictured bird. Five instruments are being played in the six prints with the sixth print (the upper left print below) showing a court dancer. Starting with the center top print below and moving clockwise we see a ryūteki (龍笛) or "dragon" flute being played, followed by a hichiriki (篳篥) or double reed flute, a shō (笙) or mouth organ, a kaentaiko 火焔太鼓 or "flame" drum and a shōko ( 鉦鼓) or small gong.

The six prints in the series List of Musical Beauties

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1227
 Title (Description) Jugo-i [Lady of the Court junior fifth rank] Uematsu Michiko
 從位五植松務子
 Series List of Musical Beauties
 音楽美揃 Ongaku Bijin Zoroi
 Artists Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900) and Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831-1889)
 Signatures
豊原国周筆 Toyohara Kunichika hitsu 
 Seals red Toshidama seal 年玉印 beneath Kunichika signature as seen above
 Publication Date
 December 3, 1878 御届明治十一年十二月三日
 Note: This collection's print does not carry a date seal as in the other state of this print shown above.
 Publisher
荒井 喜三郎 Arai Kisaburō [as noted above no publisher's seal appears on this state of the print.]
 Carver
片田彫長 Katada Hori Chō (Katada Chōjirō)
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - full margins; unbacked; full size; bottom right corner of print shows some loss and is creased.
 Genre ukiyo-e; bijinga
 Miscellaneous
 Format vertical oban 
 H x W Paper 
 14 11/16 x 10 in. (37.3 x 25.4 cm)
 H x W Image
 14 1/4 x 9 5/8 in. (36.2 x 24.4 cm)
 Literature 
 Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, p. 61-62.
 Collections This Print
 


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