Katsukawa Shunsho / Young woman with a caged monkey / Calendar print for New Year 1776Katsukawa Shunsho
Young woman with a caged monkey
Calendar print for New Year 1776

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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: Young woman with a caged monkey
Title Type: preferred
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1776
Creation End Date: 1776
Creation Date: Calendar print for New Year 1776
Creation Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Object Type: Prints
Classification Term: Woodblock
Materials and Techniques: Woodblock print.
Dimensions: Chuban; 2S.7 x 17.0 cm
Inscriptions: SIGNATURE: Shunsho gaARTIST'S WRITTEN SEAL: (kao) Yu (?)
AMICA Contributor: The Art Institute of Chicago
Owner Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
ID Number: 1929.75
Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, The Clarence Buckingham Collection
Rights: http://www.artic.edu/aic/rights/main.rights.html
Context: As a young woman wearing a kimono with long hanging sleeves (furisode) walks past, her pet monkey mischievously reaches through the bars of its cage and grasps the end of her sash. Rais?ing her long sleeve, the young woman looks around with an expressionof affectionate surprise. This charming scene is in fact encoded with a series of visual messages relating to the New Year of I776. The potted miniature white plum tree and fukujuso (adonis vernalis) plants on top of the cage are auspicious deco?rations and presents for the New Year holiday; 1776 was the year of the monkey; the monkey's gesture calls attention to the hem of the woman's sash, which is decorated with the characters for 'An'ei 5' (fifth year of the An'ei era = 1776); and the roundels on thesash contain the numbers for the 'long' months of the lunar calendar for that year - 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11.This is a calendar print (egoyomi, literally 'picture calendar'), and the custom of distributing calendar prints as New Year gifts had existed since at least the beginning of the eighteenth century. Some of the illustrations were privately commissioned from professional ukiyo-?e artists by amateur poets, as settings for their New Year verses. This example bears a poem signed with the nom de plume Fuyoso (Hibiscus Window) and sealed Kozan (Lake Mountain):Ume ga ka ya (Fragrance of the plum!)abura mo nurumu (And the oil warms)hitai-gami (In the hair at the brow.)In other words, the fragrance locked in the plum blossoms and the scent of the oil that sets the woman's elaborate coiffure (torobin, 'lantern locks') are both released by the gentle warmth of the early spring sun.Shunsho's signature is followed by a rare early form of his writ?ten seal kao or kakihan), which he came to use commonly on his paintings in the 1780S (when the use of such a seal became generally customary). It has been suggested that this early kao is an abbreviation of the character yu from Yuji, one of Shunsho's art 1iames (go). The color of the woman's furisode hasfaded from pale blue to a light sand.
AMICA ID: AIC_.1929.75
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998

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