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THE CELESTIAL BEING OF MOUNT HORAI

THE CELESTIAL BEING OF MOUNT HORAI

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original Japanese woodblock prints and paintings

Lot 00727
N.1 fukkoku woodblock print

Kitagawa Utamaro

THE CELESTIAL BEING OF MOUNT HORAI

Year: 1960 ca.
Condition: very good
Size: 25,5 x 38,5 cm

 

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The guest who, in these days, is entertaining with the celestial being of Mount Horai, in the Bohai Sea, is freed from any trouble (渤海の蓬萊仙に遊ふてふ客も老うせぬさみなるらし). The words by Sono Tokichi (園生桃吉), written in the tanzaku (短冊) format inset at the top left, accompany the elegant half-length figure of Miyahito (蓬萊仙), a famous courtesan of the Kansei (寛政) era with a high-sounding name whose meaning, "celestial being" (仙) of the legendary land of "Horai" (蓬萊), is cleverly sublimated by the poet.

The woman, here depicted by the famous artist Kitagawa Utamaro (喜多川歌麿), was active at the "house of fans" Ogiya (扇屋), of which we see the emblem on the black overcoat, and was assisted by two young kamuro (禿) whose names we read: Tsubaki (つばき) and Shirabe (しらべ).

The woodcut, printed for the first time around 1793-94 by the publisher Tsutaya Juzaburo (蔦屋重三郎), is presented here in a fine edition of the 1960s made, as can be seen from the seal on the back, by the prestigious Adachi Hanga (アダチ版画) in Tokyo and is in very good general condition.

 

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