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Utagawa Kuniteru I
The Four Seasons: Spring Japanese Woodblock Triptych ink on Paper Tales of Genji

early 1800s

About the Item

The Four Seasons: Spring - Japanese Woodblock Triptych in Ink on Paper Colorful kabuki scene by Utagawa Kuniteru (Japanese, active 1818-1860). Attractive scene from the "Tale of Genji" of Prince Genji and a young nobleman at a country estate, the verandah opening onto a beautiful garden. Outside, two young women at right wear robes with wings like those of the mandarin ducks swimming in the lake, while three other beauties flutter about the landscape with butterfly wings. The young nobleman watches them over his shoulder with a slightly surprised expression as he stands in the center. A small girl kneels beside him holding a large vase with flowering branches in it, her kimono sleeves also patterned to look like butterfly wings. Genji sits on a cushion at right, holding a fan and smiling happily. Blossoming cherry trees and yellow roses frame the view of the garden. A lovely design with wonderful detail in the setting. Publisher's marks in the lower right corner. Presented in a gold colored frame with a blue mat. Frame size: 18.75"H x 14.75"W (each) Image size: 12.5"H x 8.75"W (each) Utagawa Kuniteru (Japanese: 歌川国輝; active 1818-1860) was an ukiyo-e artist in the tradition of the Utagawa school. Born in Edo (Tokyo), he studied under both Kunisada and Toyokuni I. He produced prints of a wide variety of subjects, including many depicting the increasing Western influence on Japan, with his main output taking the form of book illustrations and single-sheet ukiyo-e. He was known by various names: he called himself Kunitsuna II or Ichiransai until the Ganji era (1864/1865). Before 1844 he may also have been known as Sadashige and signed works using the name Ichiyusai. As Kunitsuna II he concentrated on caricatures and scenes from his travels. After taking his master's name, he expanded his range to include scenes of sumo wrestling, and the modernization and westernization of Japan.
  • Creator:
    Utagawa Kuniteru I (Japanese)
  • Creation Year:
    early 1800s
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 18.75 in (47.63 cm)Width: 44.25 in (112.4 cm)Depth: 0.75 in (1.91 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
    Tonal ageing to paper, as expected. Some glue residue at edges from a previous mounting. Small punctures in lower right corner from bookworms.
  • Gallery Location:
    Soquel, CA
  • Reference Number:
    Seller: DBH8690, DBH8691, DBH86921stDibs: LU54212652582
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