Home‎ > ‎Artists‎ > ‎Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900)‎ > ‎

New Year's Outing Before a Suspension Bridge

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

New Year's Outing Before a Suspension Bridge

by Toyohara Kunichika and Kawanabe Kyōsai, 1877

IHL Cat. #493
Mirror of Magical Heroes

About This Print

Source: "Kawanabe Kyosai and Toyohara Kunichika," by Shigeru Oikawa appearing in Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), by Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, p. 40, 42.

In 1877 the publisher Sawamuraya Seikichi issued this collaborative print by Kunichika and Kyōsai, the only collaborative triptych by the two artists.  “Kunichika contributed the fore- and middle-ground scenes illustrating figures in aristocratic dress, which are apparently a reference to the 11th-century Tale of Genji.  The background is dominated by Kyōsai’s rendition of a western-style suspension bridge which had recently been built on the grounds of the imperial palace in Tokyo.”  The artists have signed the print in the areas of their contribution.  Kunichika’s signature in the right panel is proceeded with the two characters 人物  (“jinbutsu”) meaning “human figure by.”

Kunichika and Kyōsai were two of the most popular woodblock print artists of the 1870s.  Contemporaries, they were “well-acquainted, but at times adversarial, companions.”   It was not unusual for publishers to have multiple artists work on different portions of a single print, each being assigned their design strength.  Kyōsai and Kunichika first collaborated in 1875 on four prints in the series Collection of Famous views of Modern Tokyo1, published by the same publisher of this triptych. 

1 See the print The Entrance of Asakusa Temple: Taking a Portrait of the Nio Guardians for additional information on this series.


Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #493
 Title (Description)  New Year's Outing Before a Suspension Bridge
 azumagenji no uchi komatsubiki sono no tsuribashi 東源氏之内 小松曳園生之釣橋
 Artists  Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900) and Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831-1889)
 Signatures  Toyohara Kunichika hitsu in left and right panels [proceeded by 人物  (“jinbutsu”) meaning “human figure by” in right panel] and oju Seisei Kyōsai (“By request, Seisei Kyosai“) in upper left of left panel.
 Seals  red Toshidama seal beneath Kunichika signature in right panel; censors seal above Kunichika signature in right panel
 Publication Date
January 12, 1877
 Publisher
Takekawa Seikichi han (Sawamuraya Seikichi) 沢村屋 清吉 followed by address [Marks: 26-081, Publisher ref. 459]
 Carver

Horik
ō Gin 彫工銀 (left panel below
within publisher's cartouche)

Hori Gin 彫銀 (right panel below Kunichika signature.)
 
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - minor soiling mainly visible in margins; full margins; separate sheets; not backed
 Genre  ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous
 Format  vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper
 14 5/8 x 9 7/8 in. (37.1 x 25.1 cm) each sheet
 Literature
 Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), by Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, fig. 12 p. 42.
 Collections This Print
 Tokyo Metropolitan Library 193-C002 (01, 02,03); Waseda University Library b0227


Comments