Winter (<i>Fuyu</i> - 冬), from the series Pleasures of Women at the Height of the Four Seasons (<i>Shiki no kokoro onna asobi</i> - 四季心女遊)

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳) (artist 01/01/1797 – 04/14/1861)

Winter (Fuyu - 冬), from the series Pleasures of Women at the Height of the Four Seasons (Shiki no kokoro onna asobi - 四季心女遊)

Print


1843 – 1845
7 in x 9.75 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese color woodblock print

Signature: Chōōrō Kuniyoshi ga
(朝櫻楼国芳画)
Artist's seal: kiri - left panel only
Publisher: Aritaya Seiemon (Marks 014 - seal 22-064)
Censor's seal: Watari
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - middle and right panels only
Lyon Collection - Autumn from this series
National Diet Library

This is the 'Winter' set from an unusual group of chūban triptychs representing the four seasons. There had been a long tradition of previous artists using beautiful women as central figures wearing seasonal costumes and doing seasonal activities. Kuniyoshi was following their lead.


Autumn from the set

In Heroes and Ghosts: Japanese Prints by Kuniyoshi 1797-1861, page 130, it says: "This print portrays an outdoor scene with three beauties: one carries a child, one shovels the freshly fallen snow and a third holds a box with toothbrushes. Two children making a snowman and romping dogs complete this winter scene. This chūban triptych is from a set dealing with the four seasons."

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Also illustrated In color in Kuniyoshi by Jūzō Suzuki, Heibonsha Limited, Publishers, 1992, no. 236.
Aritaya Seiemon (有田屋清右衛門) (publisher)
beautiful women (bijin-ga - 美人画) (genre)
boshi-e (母子絵) (genre)