Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900) Newly Woven Brocades: Musashi Beauties; Beauty Drinking Tea, 1883. Oban.
From an important series of 1883, this picture of a beauty drinking tea combines a traditional representation of the figure with a western style perspective interior... a visual narrative of the wider cultural changes in Meiji society at this time. The title Musashi, refers to the Musashi Plain which extended across Edo, now Tokyo. The name was used as a pseudonym by Edo painters and then printmakers and came to signify Edo cultural life.
This finely drawn print is a tour de force of design; the full figure of the bijin, set against the shooting perspective of the timber interior. Kunichika’s actual name (Arakawa Yasohachi) and his address are set in the border cartouche as was required at this time.
Full size print with margins intact. Colour and impression are fine and of the first edition. Embossing to the collar and sleeves of the robes as well as across the windows. Aside from some minor edge damage the print is in excellent condition.
The print is illustrated on page 64 of Amy Reigle Newland, Time Past and Time Present, Images of a Forgotten Master, Hotei Publishing 1999.
37.0 x 25.0 cm.