Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国)

Print: Comparison of Popular Beauties (Ryūkō Bijin Awase - 流行美人合), three geisha at Nakachō (仲町 送り)

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Dates: circa 1842,created
Dimensions: 20.0 in,14.875 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Kōchōrō Kunisada ga
Publisher: Tsutaya Kichizō
(Marks 556 -seal 03-004)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: National Diet Library; Tokyo Metropolitan Library ; Waseda University - right panel; Shizuoka Prefectural Library - center panel; Shizuoka Prefectural Library - right panel; Van Gogh Museum - right panel - with a different title cartouche; National Museums of Scotland - middle panel;

Physical description:

This is one of five triptychs published by Tsutaya Kichizō under the same title, Ryūkō Bijin Awase, each showing a three beautiful women - one per panel. Here, three beautiful women are visiting a shrine - 参詣の三婦女.

The print in the Van Gogh Museum has a different title to this triptych, The 8 Views of Tatami, but other than that the publisher and everything else seems to be the same.


There is one particularly strange oddity on the right-hand panel. Next to the title cartouche is a smaller cartouche, one often reserved for more specific information, but in this case one that is filled with images of a butterfly, a mosquito, a plant with three leaves, a small looped rope (?) and a chestnut. This is a rebus which reads something like: Nakamachi okuri. This makes sense since these three beauties are visiting Nakachō.