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Kunisada (Toyokuni III)

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)

1786-1865

One Hundred Beauties from Famous Places in Edo: Suiten Shrine at Akabane
(Edo meisho hyakunin bijo: Akabane Suitengu)

signed Toyokuni ga within the artist's toshidama cartouche, signed Kunihisa ga (Utagawa Kunihisa II, 1832-1891) within the inset landscape cartouche; with publisher's seal To Yamaguchi (Yamaguchiya Tobei of Kinkodo), censor's seal aratame (examined), and censor's date seal Mi-juichi (year of the snake [1857], 11th month)

oban tate-e 14 3/8 by 10 1/8 in., 36.6 by 25.6 cm

The inset landscape cartouche shows a landmark which would have been immediately recognizable to a contemporary viewer as the fire tower rising above the Arima mansion. The tower was known to be the highest of its kind in Edo, and was celebrated in a popular children's song. However, it is the Suiten Shrine, located within the mansion, which Kunisada and his publisher presented as the composition's title. Consecrated in either 1808 or 1810, the shrine was traditionally visited to ensure the safe birth of a child. Because it was only open on the fifth day of every month, it attracted large crowds during the open days. After the Meiji Restoration, the shrine and the mansion were both relocated to Nihonbashi Kakigara-cho, where they still remain.

References:
Henry D. Smith II et. al., Hiroshige: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, Brooklyn Museum of Art, 1986, cat. no. 53 (re: Suiten Shrine, Arima mansion)
Museum of Fine Art, Boston (mfa.org), from the Bigelow Collection, accession no. 11.15271

price: Sold

kikumon

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