Katsukawa Shunsho / 'Akutagawa.' Episode 6 of Ise Monogatori; no. 4 (ni) in Shunsho's series of illustrations / c. 1772/73Katsukawa Shunsho
'Akutagawa.' Episode 6 of Ise Monogatori; no. 4 (ni) in Shunsho's series of illustrations
c. 1772/73

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Creator Name: Katsukawa, Shunsho
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: Japanese; 1726-1792 Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Active Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Name-CRT: Katsukawa Shunsho
Title: 'Akutagawa.' Episode 6 of Ise Monogatori; no. 4 (ni) in Shunsho's series of illustrations
Title Type: preferred
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1772
Creation End Date: 1773
Creation Date: c. 1772/73
Creation Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Object Type: Prints
Classification Term: Woodblock
Materials and Techniques: Woodblock print.
Dimensions: Koban; 23.0 x 15.6 cm
Inscriptions: SIGNATURE: Katsukawa Shunsho ga
AMICA Contributor: The Art Institute of Chicago
Owner Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
ID Number: 1928.984.4
Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, The Clarence Buckingham Collection
Rights: http://www.artic.edu/aic/rights/main.rights.html
Context: 'A certain man' runs off with a court lady one dark night. As they pass the stream called Akutagawa, she sees dewdrops on the grass and asks him what they are. The hour grows late and rain begins to fall in torrents, so the man shelters his lady-love in a ruined storehouse while he stands guard at its entrance. But the storehouse is inhabited by demons, who devour the lady while thunder drowns her screams. In the morning when he finds her gone and surmises her gruesome fate, the distraught lover composesthis poem:Shiratama ka (When my beloved asked)nani zo to hito no ('Is it a clear gem,)toishi toki(Or what might it be?')tsuyu to kotaete (Would that I had replied,)kienamashi mono o ('A dewdrop!' and perished.)Shunsho dresses the eloping couple in ancient court costume - the woman in the many-layered brocade robes and the man in black lacquered hat (eboshi) and hunting cloak (kariginu) - with no obvious anachronisms of eighteenth-century dress. The lover carries his lady on his back as they flee, andboth look earnestly at the drops of dew drawn prominently on each curved blade of grass. The graceful green willow withes overhead add to the lyricism of the scene. In this sense Shunsho's Ise Monogatari illustrations appear generally faithful to the spirit and world of the original Heian-period novel; they do not belong to the category of parodies (mitate-e) of ancient themes that were so common in eighteenth-century ukiyo-e.Asano Shugo has shown that Shunso took the composition of this print from the Ise Monogatari published in 1748 with black-and-white woodblock-printed illustrations by Nishikawa Sukenobu (1671-1750).
AMICA ID: AIC_.1928.984.4
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998

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