• Title: Hanging a Poem on a Cherry Tree
  • Creator: Ishikawa Toyonobu
  • Date Created: Japan, Edo period -1868 -1615
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Physical Dimensions: w43.18 x h58.42 (work)
  • Label Copy: During the Edo period (1615 - 1867), cherry blossom season was one of the few times of year when women of upper class households were permitted to enjoy outdoor amusements. The ladies and their servants would gather under the blossoms to feast on elaborate picnics and play courtly games, all concealed from public view by large curtains.In this print, the artist Ishikawa Toyonobu allows us the voyeuristic pleasure of an unhindered view of a beautiful young woman. From her gorgeous kimono of intricate patterns and expensive tortoise-shell hair accessories, it is clear that she is a daughter of a samurai family. She is shown hanging a poem card (tanzaku) on a tree just outside the curtain - perhaps a love poem intended for someone she expects to pass by. The verse may be translated as Once more again in love, Once more regret--as fleeting. Ishikawa Toyonobu is known for his elegant depiction of beautiful women and vigorous design sense. In this print, the bold black lines of the family crest in the curtain and the checkered patterns of the girl's sash create strong geometric patterns that work wonderfully with the sweeping curves of her kimono and the organic shape of the cherry tree. The technique used in this print classifies it an an urushi-e, literally meaning "lacquer painting." In reality, the term indicates extra glue in the black pigment, giving it a lustrous quality. While subtle pink pigment has been applied to the cherry blossoms and the woman's cheek on this edition, it is missing on many of the other extant versions of this print.
  • Type: Print
  • External Link: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/musart/x-1955-sl-1.130/1955_1.130.JPG?lasttype=boolean;lastview=thumbnail;resnum=1;sel9=ic_exact;size=20;sort=relevance;start=1;subview=detail;view=entry;rgn1=musart_an;select1=starts;q1=1955%2F1.130
  • Medium: Urushi-e (color woodblock print) on paper

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