Utagawa School Shunga

Utagawa School Shunga

19th century

Modern Collection of Colors
(Tosei iro zukushi)

fukuro-toji kohon with shikake-e (trick picture); with plain white cover inscribed in ink, Tosei iro zukushi (Modern Collection of Colors), the double-page spread frontispiece with the title repeated in metallic printing, and again on the title page; with a two-page introduction signed Keisui tei (probably the publisher), followed by eight single-page illustrations and two double-page illustrations; each with a cartouche with a title corresponding to a color: yamabuki iro (bright yellow), momo iro (peach-colored), murasaki (purple), mizu (water-colored, light blue), fuji iro (wisteria-colored, light purple), toki iro (orange-pink), chai iro (tea-colored), kon (dark blue), tamago iro (egg-colored), moegi iro (green onion-colored), followed by fourteen pages of text, ca. mid-19th century

kohon 7 1/8 by 4 5/8 in., 18 by 11.6 cm

Although Utagawa Toyokuni (1769-1825) and his followers dominated in figural ukiyo-e for most of the 19th century, Utagawa school artists for the most part stayed out of the shunga market from 1804 following a crack-down by the authorities. Shortly after the death of Toyokuni, his leading student, Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III, 1786-1865) began producing erotic illustrated books.

Highlights of Japanese Printmaking Part 4: Shunga, Scholten Japanese Art, 2014, cat. no. 47

Timothy Clark et al., Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art, The British Museum, 2013, p 301, fig. 1 (similar trick picture)
Chris Uhlenbeck and Margarita Winkel, Japanese Erotic Fantasies: Sexual Imagery of the Edo Period, 2005, p. 212, no. 85 (similar trick picture)

price: $4,800


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site last updated
September 28, 2022

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475