First Play of Musical Instruments in the New Year [Shikizome no zu]

Woodblock Print
Circa 1804 (made)
First Play of Musical Instruments in the New Year [Shikizome no zu] thumbnail 1
First Play of Musical Instruments in the New Year [Shikizome no zu] thumbnail 2
+3
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Woodblock prints such as this were produced in large numbers in 18th- and 19th-century Japan. Images were generally printed on paper of a standard size. Here three such sheets have been used to create a larger picture. Woodblock prints are sometimes called ukiyo-e, which means 'pictures of the floating world'. This world was that of the pleasure district with its brothels, theatres and teahouses.

Subjects Depicted
This print depicts the courtesan Takao holding a celebration to display her new bedclothes. Takao is shown in the centre with her guest Sawamura Gennosuke I, one of the most popular actors of his day. On the right a young courtesan and attendant wrap congratulatory money in paper and another actor, Iwai Kiyotaro, drinks sake. Two geisha provide musical entertainment and an attendant brings in stacked boxes of noodles.

Materials & Making
The production of Japanese woodblock prints was a group activity orchestrated by a specialist publisher, in this case one of the most famous, Tsutaya Juzaburo. He commissioned the artist, Kitagawa Tsukimaro, to produce a sketch. A detailed drawing based on this sketch was given to a block cutter, who created one block for the black outline of the image and further blocks for each of the colours to be used. These were passed to a printer. Pigments applied to the blocks were printed on to sheets of paper by rubbing from behind with a flat round disc known as a baren. About 200 copies of a design were printed at a time.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Colour print from woodblocks on paper
Brief Description
Pap, Japan, prints

First Play of Musical Instruments in the New Year, The Parlour of the Courtesan Takao from the Miura House, by Kitagawa Tsukimaro (active 1794-1836), Edo (Tokyo), circa 1804
Physical Description
Colour print from woodblocks, signed Kaimei Tsukimaro hitsu
Dimensions
  • Unframed height: 38cm
  • Unframed width: 76.5cm
Marks and Inscriptions
Gallery Label
British Galleries: WOODBLOCK PRINTS
Japanese woodblock prints were avidly collected in the late 19th century. To a Victorian audience they revealed a different world depicted in an entirely new way. The style, composition and subject matter of the prints had a huge influence on artists working in Britain.(27/03/2003)
Summary
Object Type
Woodblock prints such as this were produced in large numbers in 18th- and 19th-century Japan. Images were generally printed on paper of a standard size. Here three such sheets have been used to create a larger picture. Woodblock prints are sometimes called ukiyo-e, which means 'pictures of the floating world'. This world was that of the pleasure district with its brothels, theatres and teahouses.

Subjects Depicted
This print depicts the courtesan Takao holding a celebration to display her new bedclothes. Takao is shown in the centre with her guest Sawamura Gennosuke I, one of the most popular actors of his day. On the right a young courtesan and attendant wrap congratulatory money in paper and another actor, Iwai Kiyotaro, drinks sake. Two geisha provide musical entertainment and an attendant brings in stacked boxes of noodles.

Materials & Making
The production of Japanese woodblock prints was a group activity orchestrated by a specialist publisher, in this case one of the most famous, Tsutaya Juzaburo. He commissioned the artist, Kitagawa Tsukimaro, to produce a sketch. A detailed drawing based on this sketch was given to a block cutter, who created one block for the black outline of the image and further blocks for each of the colours to be used. These were passed to a printer. Pigments applied to the blocks were printed on to sheets of paper by rubbing from behind with a flat round disc known as a baren. About 200 copies of a design were printed at a time.
Collection
Accession Number
E.2124-1899

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record createdDecember 9, 2002
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