Utagawa Kuniyasu (歌川国安) (artist 1794 – 1832)
Preparatory Drawing of a Parody of Zhu Wu the Divine Strategist, Hanaogi of the Oiya (Shinkigunshi Shubu no mitate, Hanaogi no Ogiya)
11" x 15.75" sumi ink drawing on paper
Lyon Collection - print after this drawing
The beauty is seated on a verandah overlooking a moonlit lake with Mount Fuji in the distance. Although the title cartouche is missing, the design is from a very scarce Suikoden mitate-e (parody) series published by Kagaya Kichiemon (Kichibei), the same publisher who produced Kuniyoshi's famous ca 1827-30 series, Tsuzoku Suikoden goketsu hyakuhachinin no hitori (108 Heroes of the Popular Shuihuzhuan). Kuniyasu's version uses the same exact series and print titles, with the addition of the names and houses of featured courtesans.
The drawing appears to be a near-final version of a composition with very detailed instructions for the carver and printer on how the coloration should be addressed. It was discovered within a small collection of preparatory works, some of which were matched directly to published prints by Kunisada (1786-1865), Teisai Sencho (active ca 1830-1850, Keisai Eisen (1790-1848), and this print by Kuniyasu which is also in the Lyon Collection.
Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, accession no. 1988.51
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession no. 11.37180
Mike lyon Collection, woodblockprints.org
Suikoden (水滸傳) (genre)
mitate-e (見立て絵) (genre)