Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国) (artist 1786 – 01/12/1865)
View of Sakanoshita (Sakanoshita no zu: 坂の下之図) from the chuban series Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō Road (Tōkaidō gojūsan tsugi no uchi: 東海道五十三次之内)
Signed: Kōchōrō Kunisada ga (香蝶楼国貞画)
Publisher: Sanoya Kihei
Censor's seal: kiwame
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
National Diet Library
Fujisawa Ukiyo-e Museum
Spencer Museum of Art - published by Moriya Jihei
Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna
Library of Congress
Honolulu Museum of Art
Östasiatiska Museet, Stockholm
Virginia Museum of Fine Art - misidentified location as Akasaka
Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art - they date their copy to 1836
Honolulu Museum of Art - published by Moriya Jihei This is number 49 in the series. Unlike most of the prints in this series there is no Hiroshige print as a model. This image by Kunisada is completely his own creation. The curatorial files at the Museum für angewandte Kunst in Vienna note: "The picture of the Sakanoshita station 坂 の 下 in the background was conceived by Kunisada himself and shows the lively activity in the station. In the station, horses can be changed, litter boxes rented and rooms reserved for overnight stays. In the foreground a woman playing the flute."
The yokobue (横笛) is a transverse lute.
Illustrated in color in 'When two Utagawo masters get together: the artistic relationship between Hiroshige and Kunisada' by Andrea Marks in Andon 84, November, 2008, p. 36.
The difference in presentations of Sakanoshita by Hiroshige and Kunisada could not be more dramatic. Hiroshige shows an almost desolate mountain view with a precipitous, almost bottomless terrain while Kunisada shows a bustling urban center. The differences between these two prints is almost as great as night is from day.
According to Muneshige Narazaki in Masterworks of Ukiyo-e: Hiroshige, the 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō (p. 82) "The honjin [or inn] of Sakanoshita was the most luxurious on the Tōkaidō; one of its gates is still standing today [i.e., in 1969]."
Sanoya Kihei (佐野屋喜兵衛) (publisher)
landscape prints (fūkeiga 風景画) (genre)