Object Image

歌川国貞(三代歌川豊国)画 「源氏後集余情 五十のまき / あづまや」

Through his illustrations of A Fraudulent Murasaki’s Rustic Genji, single-sheet prints, triptychs, and diptychs, Utagawa Kunisada was more prolific than any other ukiyo-e artist in the creation of Genji-themed prints. This pair of prints is thirty-seventh in a group of thirty-eight diptychs from the series Lasting Impressions of a Late Genji Collection (Genji goshū yojō), published between 1857 and 1861. The most complex and visually satisfying of Kunisada’s Genji images, this series was lavishly printed on thick paper to allow special effects such as blind printing (karazuri) or textile-weave printing (nunomezuri). The metallic pigments, the burnishing (shōmenzuri), and the overall luxurious presentation usually characterize deluxe privately published prints called surimono.

Credit: Gift of Lincoln Kirstein, 1985

1858, second month
Diptych of polychrome woodblock ōban prints; ink and color on paper
36.2 x 24.8cm
JP3683a, b
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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