Kunisada II & Hiroshige II: Utsusemi
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Utagawa Kunisada II (1823-1880) and Utagawa Hiroshige II (Shigenobu, 1826-1869)
A young woman is shyly hiding under a thick sleeping kimono from the young Prince Genji.
In the folding fan picture at the top, a candlestick is shown next to an empty bed.
The whole picture is framed by a pattern with the Genji-kô symbol for the third chapter of the Genji novel.
Title: Chapter 3 - Utsusemi
Series: Omokage Genji gojûyo-jô (Vestiges of the Fifty-four Chapters of Genji)
Signatures and seals: Baichôrô Kunisada hitsu with Toshidama seal; Ryûsai with seal Ga
Publisher: Tsutaya Kichizô (Tsutakichi, Kôeidô), Edo
Date: 1864, 1st month
Size: Vertical Ôban, 36.6 x 25.1 cm (overall)
Very nice impression, excellent colours, with metallic pigment (oxidized). The uncoloured background is karazuri-embossed with a continuous pattern of undulating sea waves. Unbacked, untrimmed image. A little bit creased, especially at the lower corners. A very short tear in bottom margin, a tiny wormhole, verso a little bit stained in bottom. Overall very good, crisp condition.
For this Genji series see Andreas Marks, Genji's World in Japanese Woodblock Prints. Leiden 2012, p. 232 and p. 279, no. G 554. Cf. also MFA Boston 11.37391.3; Tokyo Metropolitan Library 4574-C001-004 (with a transcription of the waka poem in the fan).