Kuniyoshi, Celebrated Treasures of Land and Sea - Shrimp from Ise

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) Celebrated Treasures of Land and Sea: Shrimp from Ise, 1852. Oban.

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This is a print from a highly regarded, late series by Kuniyoshi, notable for his daughter’s assistance in drawing the landscape cartouches in the upper portion of the prints. The pairings seem to be a hangover from the strict censorship imposed upon artists during the 1840’s. During this time, it was common to disguise prints of women or actors by introducing a worthy or suitable subject matter… in this sort of print, a national product of food or industry. These are in essence though, ‘fashion plates’, designed in all  likelihood to show off clothes and textiles and to illustrate attractive women.

Each of the women in the sixty two known plates are ‘active’… engaged in playing with an animal, cooking, domestic chores and so on… in this case the woman is carrying a hot cooking kettle with both hands, possibly a reference within the print to the men toiling to catch the crayfish in a net on the shores of the lake in Ise Province shown in the cartouche above her.

A delightful print from a well regarded and collectible series. Colour and impression are fine as is the condition. Embossing to collar. The print is untrimmed. A copy of this print is in the British Museum London.

Published by Tsutaya Kichizo.

37cm x 25cm.