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Garden at Night (Yoru no niwa), from the series an Elegant Prince Genji (Furyu Genji )

Garden at Night (Yoru no niwa), from the series an Elegant Prince Genji (Furyu Genji )

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Hiroshige, Utagawa and Utagawa Kunisada

In 1829, Ryutei Tanehiko (1783–1842) began the serial novel Imposter Murasaki, Rustic Genji, which was a parody of The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu (978–1014). The later story unfolds in the licensed quarters of fifteenth-century Edo instead of in the imperial court of Kyoto. The author completed thirty-eight installments when the Tokugawa government halted its production in 1842. Shortly thereafter, Tanehiko committed suicide. The immensely successful serial was elaborately illustrated by Kunisada. More than ten years after the author’s death, Kunisada and Hiroshige collaborated on Elegant Prince Genji, a series of ten triptych designs based on Kunisada’s earlier illustrations. In this rare evening scene, the lantern light is completed with extreme care by the printer, who wiped the carved block to transfer an even gradation of color. Both artists’ signatures are prominently included next to their respective portions, highlighting their creative specialties: Hiroshige for the landscape, and Kunisada for the figures.
Artist
Hiroshige, Utagawa and Utagawa Kunisada
(Japanese, 1797-1858) (Japanese, 1786-1864)
Title
Garden at Night (Yoru no niwa), from the series an Elegant Prince Genji (Furyu Genji )
Date
12/1853
Medium
Color woodcut
Dimensions
a: 363 x 257 mm; b: 364 x 257 mm; c: 364 x 248 mm Overall
Credit
John H. Van Vleck Endowment Fund purchase
Accession No.
2003.14a-c
Classification
Prints
Geography
Japan

Related

  • Mueller, Laura. "Competition and Collaboration: Japanese Prints of the Utagawa School." Leiden, The Netherlands: Hotei Publishing, 2007. p. 170, no. 155

  • Utagawa: Masters of the Japanese Print, 1770-1900 : Chazen Museum of Art, 3/21/2008–6/15/2008
  • Competition and Collaboration: Japanese Prints of the Utagawa School: Chazen Museum of Art, 11/3/2007–1/6/2008

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