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Right, Hair Tie from Edo
Triptych [Beauties of the three cities]
奥村利信 『三ぶくつい』 「右 江戸もとゆひ」
Date: approx. 1720s
Object Name: Woodblock print (urushi-e)
Materials: Ink with hand-applied color on paper
Dimensions: H. 6 3/8 in x W. 13 1/2 in, H. 16.2 cm x W. 34.3 cm (hosōban)
Credit Line: Gift of the Grabhorn Ukiyo-e Collection
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Prints And Drawings
Object Number: 2005.100.14
On Display: No

Description

Label:

This elegantly dressed courtesan represents Edo within a trio of beauties from Japan’s leading cities. As one sheet of a larger triptych, she once stood beside rivals from Osaka and Kyoto. A large roundel on her shoulder identifies her home city, and the words Edo Motoyui appear in a title cartouche shaped as a woman’s sleeve dangling from a pine branch. The word motoyui, which may also be the courtesan’s name, refers to a paper hair tie, a special product of Edo at the time this print was made.

The beauty’s hairstyle, called nesagari hyōgo, is knotted at the neck and adorned with a single large comb. Feathers decorate her black uchikake outer robe—phoenix wings on her shoulders and long tail feathers fanned over her body. By applying ink mixed with glue to the outer robe, the printer gave it a lustrous black finish akin to satin — a characteristic of urushi-e prints. Gathered at one side, this opulent garment covers the front knot of a tortoise shell– patterned obi and a kosode adorned with red autumn leaves. Brass filings add sparkle to the obi, tail feathers, and pine. The other two sheets of the triptych are “Osaka Kōbai [red plum]” (Honolulu Academy of Arts, 16081) and “Kyoto Oshiroi [white makeup]” (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 11.19121). The design of three beauties is modeled on a prototype created by Okumura Masanobu, Toshinobu’s teacher.


More Information

Signature/Seal: Signature: 大和画工奥村利信筆 Yamato gakō Okumura Toshinobu hitsu
Marks: Publisher’s mark: うき世絵版元絵そうし問屋 ゑ 湯島天神女坂下小松屋伝四朗 Ukiyoe hanmoto esōshi toiya, E, Yushima Tenjin Onnazaka-shita Komatsuya Denshirō
Exhibition History: “The Printer’s Eye: Ukiyo-e from the Grabhorn Collection”, Asian Art Museum, 2/20/15-5/10/15
Label:

This elegantly dressed courtesan represents Edo within a trio of beauties from Japan’s leading cities. As one sheet of a larger triptych, she once stood beside rivals from Osaka and Kyoto. A large roundel on her shoulder identifies her home city, and the words Edo Motoyui appear in a title cartouche shaped as a woman’s sleeve dangling from a pine branch. The word motoyui, which may also be the courtesan’s name, refers to a paper hair tie, a special product of Edo at the time this print was made.

The beauty’s hairstyle, called nesagari hyōgo, is knotted at the neck and adorned with a single large comb. Feathers decorate her black uchikake outer robe—phoenix wings on her shoulders and long tail feathers fanned over her body. By applying ink mixed with glue to the outer robe, the printer gave it a lustrous black finish akin to satin — a characteristic of urushi-e prints. Gathered at one side, this opulent garment covers the front knot of a tortoise shell– patterned obi and a kosode adorned with red autumn leaves. Brass filings add sparkle to the obi, tail feathers, and pine. The other two sheets of the triptych are “Osaka Kōbai [red plum]” (Honolulu Academy of Arts, 16081) and “Kyoto Oshiroi [white makeup]” (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 11.19121). The design of three beauties is modeled on a prototype created by Okumura Masanobu, Toshinobu’s teacher.


Signature/Seal: Signature: 大和画工奥村利信筆 Yamato gakō Okumura Toshinobu hitsu
Marks: Publisher’s mark: うき世絵版元絵そうし問屋 ゑ 湯島天神女坂下小松屋伝四朗 Ukiyoe hanmoto esōshi toiya, E, Yushima Tenjin Onnazaka-shita Komatsuya Denshirō
Exhibition History: “The Printer’s Eye: Ukiyo-e from the Grabhorn Collection”, Asian Art Museum, 2/20/15-5/10/15