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Young samurai on horseback

Identifier: 1750s Masanobu horse dandy
Description:

Illustrated in The Dawn of the Floating World 1650-1765: Early Ukiyo-e Treasures from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, no. 70, p. 185.

Louise E. Virgin wrote of this piece:

"Expressing the enchantment of the moment, the poem plays with the expression koi-kaze, which means 'winds of love' but can also be used as a metaphor of 'falling in love':

Koi-kaze ni
chiru ya sakura no
monomi mado

Stirred by the winds of love,
cherry blossoms scatter
by the viewing window.

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The curatorial files at the Honolulu Museum of Art read:

A stylish young samurai is seated upon an elaborately bedecked mount. Above his head bloom cherry blossoms, and through a window two girls peek at him admiringly. The poem reads: “To the breeze of love the cherry blossoms fall, beside the viewing-window.” He is immaculately dressed and even his horse is trimmed up for the occasion. It is thought that the model for the splendid young man was Sanogawa Ichimatsu, a popular Kabuki actor who often served as a subject of Masanobu’s prints. (from "VOGUE in Japan: Edo Fashion through Japanese prints" exhibition 07/30/08-)"

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The shōhitsu 正筆 at the end of the signature basically means that this is an authentic/autograph work of art.

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This print is categorized as a beni-e with hand-coloring with lacquer, i.e., urushi.

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There is a reference to a copy of this print in the Vever sale on March 24, 1977 at Sotheby's. It is listed as #14, p. 15 of volume III. There is no illustration. Bibliographic references include Estampes Japonaises Primitives... Exposées au Musées des Arts Decoratifs en Fevrier, 1909 by Vignier and Inada and from Japanese From the Early Masters to the Modern by James Michener, pl. 33.

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