Artist: Utagawa Kunisada II (二代歌川国貞)

Print: Bijin reading a letter by lantern light - from the series 'A Collection of Modern Beauties' Tōsei bijin soroe no uchi (當盛美人揃之内)

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Dates: 1855,created
Dimensions: 10.0 in,14.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Ichijusai Kunisada ga
Publisher: Ebisuya Shōshichi (Marks 039 - seal 26-007)
Date seal: 12/1855
Censor's seal: aratame

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - another print from this series; Lyon Collection - another print from this series;Tokyo Metropolitan Library - another print from this series; Tokyo Metropolitan Library - and yet another print from this series; National Museums of Scotland;

Physical description:

The 'beauties' in this series appear to be either geisha or prostitutes associated with particular restaurants or teahouses used a places of assignation.


There are two prints from this series in the Lyon Collection.


We have found at least nine different prints from this series at the Museums of Scotland web site online. One interesting thing to note is that there were at least two different editions of this print from the Lyon Collection. You will be able to see this by clicking on the link above to a similar print in Scotland. They are the same in every way, except the example in Scotland has an extra cartouche added near the title cartouche. In fact, four different prints in that collection have similar additional identifying cartouches... which it should be pointed out do not appear on each edition of those particular prints. (JSV)