BEAUTY AND IRIS FLOWERS (Toyohara Chikanobu)


N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1896
Condition: good
Size: 23,5 x 35,5 cm

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Large vertical format polychrome woodblock print made in October 1896 by the artist Toyohara Chikanobu (豊原周延). The work, depicting a bijin (美人) beauty holding some iris (菖蒲) flowers, is taken from the series “East” (あづま) and is entitled “Returning from Ikebana” (生花帰り).

Ikebana (生け花) is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. It is also known as kado (華道), that is the “way of flowers”. The tradition dates back to Heian period (平安時代), when floral offerings were made at altars. Later, flower arrangements were instead used to adorn the tokonoma (床の間) alcove of traditional houses.

The print was produced by the publisher Fukuda Hatsujiro (福田初次郎), owner of Gusokuya (具足屋), and despite the right signs of aging is in good condition, thanks also to an effective relining carried out on the back.