Miyagawa Shunsui / A Triptych of Fashionable No Plays (Furyu Utai Sanbukutsui) / Edo period, Ca. late 1750sMiyagawa Shunsui
A Triptych of Fashionable No Plays (Furyu Utai Sanbukutsui)
Edo period, Ca. late 1750s

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Creator Name: Miyagawa, Shunsui
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: Japanese; fl. 1744-1764 Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Active Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Name-CRT: Miyagawa Shunsui
Title: A Triptych of Fashionable No Plays (Furyu Utai Sanbukutsui)
Title Type: preferred
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1755
Creation End Date: 1760
Creation Date: Edo period, Ca. late 1750s
Creation Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Object Type: Prints
Classification Term: Woodblock
Materials and Techniques: Woodblock print. Triptych (uncut)The three scenes of this triptych form separate compositions, each bearing a signature and publisher's seal. This suggests that they were intended to be cut apart and viewed separately, though perhaps placed side by side.
Dimensions: Benizuri hosoban; 31.1 x 47.3 cm
Inscriptions: SIGNATURE Tobu eshi ("Artist of Edo") Katsu ShunsuiARTIST'S SEAL Mangyo
AMICA Contributor: The Art Institute of Chicago
Owner Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
ID Number: 1925.2357
Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, The Clarence Buckingham Collection
Rights: http://www.artic.edu/aic/rights/main.rights.html
Subject Description: Each shows a courtesan and a modishly dressed young man (wakashu) in a scene of dalliance based on an episode from a well-known No play. 'Parody pictures' (mitate-e) of this kind, in which fashionably dressed figures from the contemporary demimonde enacted trivialized versions of scenes from classical literature, were common in ukiyo-e since its origins at the end of the seventeenth century.On the right a young couple toy with a miniature kite in the shape of a kimono. The woman holds the spool of kite thread, an allusion to the No play Miwa (Origin of Miwa Shrine), in which a woman attaches a thread to the hem of her mysterious lover, follows the thread, and discovers that he is the deity of the Miwa Shrine. The short poem above reads:Aibore noito kuri-kaeshiada-kuzetsuLovers quarrel-But continually reelThe threads of affection that bind them.The scene in the center mimics the encounter in Eguchi, in which the courtesan Eguchi no Kimi refuses a night's lodging to the wandering monk-poet Saigyo so as notto compromise his holy virtue. In the up-to-date print version we see a young man wearing a striped obi tied (like a courtesan's) in an extravagant bow in front and carrying a bucket of chrysanthemums. As he passes the brothel entrance, a courtesan emerges and looks after him admiringly. The poem over her head expresses her thoughts:Shin tomunato wa omoedomowakashuDon't lose your heart,I think to myself-But oh, that young man!. . .The play Izutsu (The Well-Curb), based on episode 23 from Ise Monogatari (Tales of Ise), tells of a couple who as children played together by the well-curb, looking at their reflections in the water. Growing up, they fell in love. Once married, the husband grew mistrustful, but was won back by his wife's devotion and womanly charm. Shunsui translates this into a scene of a young woman combing the hair of her lover, who sits looking into a makeup mirror. Through the open shoji can be seen graceful willow fronds hanging above the well-curb:Kurabegoshiyanagi wa ika nakushi-zukaiHow graceful her form!Just like a willowAs she plies the comb.(The Actor's Image, 1994)
AMICA ID: AIC_.1925.2357
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Art Institute of Chicago, 1999

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