Utagawa Toyohiro


Beauties Imitating a Daimyo Procession with Mount Fuji

continuous sheets numbered 1 through 6 from left to right; the first sheet signed Toyohiro ga; publisher unknown, ca. 1805-06

each sheet approx 6 5/8 by 3 in., 16.9 by 7.7 cm
together 6 5/8 by 18 in., 16.9 by 46.2 cm

During the Edo Period, daimyo (feudal lords) were required to maintain residences both in their domain and in the capital of Edo- usually alternating their presence in either location annually. Their elaborate processions with a retinue of retainers and household servants to and from the capital were a spectacle of power and wealth. Ukiyo-e artists frequently juxtaposed the visual parallel of a ranking courtesan's procession with that of a daimyo. In this composition a group of teenaged bijin (beauties), all wearing matching furisode ('swinging sleeve' kimono) lead the way, two by two. The first pair carry shamisen cases, followed by two sets bearing heralidic ornaments, a pair with wrapped swords and another bearing archery bows, and concluding with two bijin armed with the daisho (double swords) of ranking samurai. Toyohiro produced at least three variations of these small-format many-panelled bijin daimyo processions at the base of Mt. Fuji.

Sotheby's Parke Bernet Inc., Important Japanese and other Asian Works of Art (John R. Gaines Collection), May 23, 1979, lot no. 493 (description only, possibly the same set)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Spaulding Collection, accession nos. 21.8447 - 21.8460 (similar 15 koban sheet composition by Toyohiro); and Morse Collection, accession nos. RES.53.138 - RES.53.147 (similar 10 koban sheet composition by Toyohiro)
(inv. no. 10-4860)

price: $2,800

Utagawa Toyohiro
viewed with full sheets (not overlapping)


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