Kunisada (Toyokuni III)

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)


Spring Play Parody of Seven Women (rare complete set)
(Haru asobi mitate shichifujin)

each sheet signed Kochoro Kunisada ga, with censor's seal kiwame and publisher's seal To (Yamaguchiya Tobei), ca. mid-1830s

oban tate-e 14 7/8 by 10 in., 37.7 by 25.5 cm (each approximately)

These three sheets comprise a very rare unrecorded set likening beauties to the Shichifukujin (Seven Gods of Good Fortune), with a pun in the title replacing the kanji Fukujin (Lucky Gods) with fujin (women). Although the prints do not line up as continuous composition to form a triptych, the placement of the series title cartouches and the positioning of the figures suggest a possible order for viewing. From right to left the beauties are likened to each Lucky God with small vertical cartouches and symbolic accoutrements. On the right sheet a beauty identified with Ebisu (yellow cartouche) is seated next to a large tai fish in a basket, and Jurojin (red cartouche) standing beside a curtain decorated with auspicious symbols associated with the Lucky Gods. In the center sheet, three beauties are identified with Benzaiten (red cartouche), Fukurokuji (blue cartouche), and Hotei (yellow cartouche), with Hotei's large sack of abundance in the foreground. In the left sheet, a standing beauty holds a bonsai arrangment in a blue and white porcelain pot featuring a pagoda in reference to Bishamon (red cartouche), while a child wearing a scarf on his head while seated on two rice bales next to a beauty holding a toy mallet references Daikoku (yellow cartouche).

The series title has not been recorded, as such, this complete set may be unique.

(inv. nos. 10-5359, 10-5360, 10-5361)

price: Sold


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(212) 585-0474 or email
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site last updated
July 29, 2022

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