Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)

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A bora, grey mullet (Mugil cephalus), together with camellia and Japanese asparagusudo. This impression is from the extremely rare first private edition for a poetry club with the judges’ names beside the kyoka poems by Higaki Kunifune and Toshinoto Haruki. From a set of ten prints published – most likely – by Eijudo around 1832-34. These prints were subsequently issued commercially by Eijudo with his seal and a kiwame seal (both missing here on the private printing) and with the judges’ names removed. Who the poetry group was is not known, but they must have been affluent and influential. Of the sixteen poets on the prints, four were certainly members of the Shingyoku Circle, which was affiliated to the Yomogawa. This was the group that commissioned, amongst others, Hokusai’s Horse and Shell series of surimono. There appear to be three other impressions known from the private edition: Sebastian Izzard, Hiroshige, The Ukiyo-e Society of America Inc., 1983, no. 5; Ukiyo-e art, no. 18, Memeorial exhibition of Hiroshige, The Japan Ukiyo-e Society, 1968 (C) no. 4; and Juzo Suzuki, Utagawa Hiroshige, Nihon Keizai Shinbun, 1970, no. 593. Provenance: Ex Stoclet collection.


Very fine impression. Fine colour. Centre fold (as usual as they were issued in folding album form), otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiryusai Hiroshige ga.


Status: Available


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