Shunsen: Two beauties from Yoshiwara
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Katsukawa Shunsen (Shunkô II, 1762- ca. 1830)
Two elegant Yoshiwara beauties dressed in summer kimonos; they are amusing themselves with a revolving magic lantern (mawari-dôrô), a popular Edo period entertainment device and a predecessor of picture animation.
Behind the title cartouche a flower of the season, the golden valerian (patrinia, ominaeshi)
Title: 婦美月(Fumizuki – der 7th month, July) – written in an quite unusal and allusive way with the characters for „female beauty“.
Signature: Shunsen ga
Censor: Kiwame, gyôji Waka (Wakasa-ya Yôichi)
Publisher: Izumiya Ichibei (Sen’ichi, Kikakudô)
Size: Vertical Oban, 36,5 x 24,5 cm
Very good impression. Colours partially somewhat faded. Some damage due to age, as wear, soiling, creasing, stains. Expertly restored.
A charming and elegant bijin depiction, from a rare series of women in the twelve months of the year. This print extremely rare, so far no other record.
For other prints from the series see Harvard, Arthur M. Sackler Museum; Library of Congress; Toyko National Museum, partly published by Sanoya, partly by Izumiya, Also see Marks, Publishers, p. 278, P1674, (as Shunkô II, publisher Sanoya)
For Mawari-dôrô (Mawaritôrô) see Rebecca Salter, Japanese popular prints, Honolulu 2006, p. 145.