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Woodblock print - A Young Girl Reading a Letter as a Woman Looks On
  • A Young Girl Reading a Letter as a Woman Looks On
    Torii Kiyonaga, born 1752 - died 1815
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A Young Girl Reading a Letter as a Woman Looks On

  • Object:

    Woodblock print

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    mid 1770s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Torii Kiyonaga, born 1752 - died 1815 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour print from woodblocks

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Sydney D. Aris

  • Museum number:

    E.365-1954

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 125, Edwin and Susan Davies Gallery, case WW

Torii Kiyonaga (1752-1815) was a great print designer and painter of the Torii school whose own Kiyonaga style came to dominate the world of ukiyo-e, or 'pictures of the Floating World'. His special province was the portrayal of beautiful women. Prints depicting the daily lives of women and children with wit and parody were popular with the urban middles classes at this time, and many were based on the well-known series of Chinese paintings 'Eight Famous Views of Xiao Xiang'. This print was part of such a series by Kiyonaga, entitled 'The Eight Famous Interior Scenes'. It is a mitate-e, or 'allusion print': the cotton on the lacquered pail alludes to the evening snow of the Chinese painting. As is shown here, stretching the cotton wadding over a lacquered pail before it was made into something was one of the many jobs that women did by hand.

Physical description

Prints depicting the daily lives of women and children were popular; many were based on the well-known series of Chinese paintings Eight Famous Views of Xiao Xiang, one example of which was Suzuki Harunobu's series The Eight Famous Interior Scenes. This was followed by Kiyonaga's series of which this print is part. In this mitate-e (allusion) print, allusion is made to the evening snow of the Chinese print by the cotton on the lacquered pail. As is shown here, stretching the cotton wadding over a lacquered pail before it was made into something was one of the many jobs that women did by hand.
Chuban size. Signature: Kiyonaga ga

Place of Origin

Japan (made)

Date

mid 1770s (made)

Artist/maker

Torii Kiyonaga, born 1752 - died 1815 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Colour print from woodblocks

Dimensions

Width: 19 cm, Height: 25.5 cm

Descriptive line

Japanese mitate-e print, mid-1770s, Torii Kiyonaga: 'A Young Girl Reading a Letter as a Woman Looks On'

Categories

Prints

Collection

East Asia Collection

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