Utagawa Kuniyasu


Preparatory Drawing of a Parody of Suikoden: Taoyagi of the Ogiya
(Shinkigunshi Shubu no mitate, Taoyagi no Ogiya)

sumi ink drawing on paper, unsigned, with notations regarding colors, ca. 1830s

conserved on archival paper 15 3/4 by 11 in., 40.1 by 27.8 cm

The beauty stands on a verandah overlooking a landscape of pine trees and shades her eyes as she takes in the vista. In the distance a flock of geese are seen flying downward from the parting clouds. Although the title cartouche is missing, the design is from a very scarce Suikoden mitate-e (parody) series published by Kagaya Kichiemon (Kichibei), the same publisher who produced Kuniyoshi's famous circa 1827-30 series, Tsuzoku Suikoden goketsu hyakuhachinin no hitori (One Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Shuihuzhuan). Kuniyasu's version uses the same exact series and print titles, with the addition of the names and houses of featured courtesans.

The drawing appears to be a near-final version of a composition with very detailed instructions for the carver and printer on how the coloration should be addressed. It was discovered within a small collection of preparatory works, some of which were matched directly to published prints by Kunisada (1786-1865), Teisai Sencho (active ca. 1830-1850), Keisai Eisen (1790-1848), and Kuniyasu.

Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen, Leiden, no. RV-1353-841

(inv. no. 10-2693)

price: Sold

Utagawa Kuniyasu

Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen, Leiden


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site last updated
August 14, 2022

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
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