Chikanobu Yoshu, Snow at the Park, Winter, Kimono Design

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Artist: Chikanobu Yoshu (1838-1912)
Title: Snow at the Park
Series: Customs and Manners of Japan
Date: 1892
Publisher: Morimoto Junzaburo
Size: (R)25 x 35.9 (C)25.1 x 35.9 (L)25 x 35.8 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

Beauties wander around the winter park of the temple premises, with wide umbrellas protecting them from the falling snow. On the left, a group of dogs fights over a straw geta sandal, cheering the ladies up and keeping them entertained. The chilly weather is clearly noticeable as some of the women wear additional layers of clothing over the usual kimono and high geta sandals to keep their feet away from the freezing snow.

The red colour of the temple buildings and patterned kimono garments strongly contrast with white-and-grey clours of the snowy landscape. A delicate embossing (karazuri) effect was applied to the fur of the playful animals.

More Information
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Print Format Triptych
Artist Name Chikanobu Yoshu
Title Snow at the Park
Subject Beauty & Female, Landscapes, Kimono Design
Dimensions (R) 25 x 35.9 (C) 25.1 x 35.9 (L) 25 x 35.8 cm
Condition Report Light water strains and red pigment smudges. Fold marks and creases along the edges. Minor spots and light paper residue on the back.
Series Customs and Manners of Edo
Publisher Morimoto Junzaburo

Chikanobu Yoshu

Born into the Hashimoto samurai family in the Echigo province, Chikanobu became one of the final, great, traditional ukiyo-e artists of the Meiji era, fighting to preserve the traditional culture of Japan. Even so, the modernisation brought about by Western values and technologies can be seen in his work. As a result, he develops a distinctive personal style blending a close adherence to the traditional technique of ukiyo-e, and occasional western imagery. Chikanobu’s early work includes the series ‘From the Famous Places of Edo’, as well as war prints based on the Kagoshima uprising in 1877. He also designed prints rooted in traditional myths and legends. Even though Chikanobu’s prints showcase a variety of subjects, due to the wealth of his beauties and court ladies works, it is believed that the customs and events of the imperial family were his favourite subject. Out of these prints, the most well-known series is probably ‘Court Ladies of the Chiyoda Place’ (‘Chiyoda no O-oku’), which depicts the court life in the palace of the Tokugawa shogunate. This series, like many of Chikanobu’s artworks, is a series of triptychs. Another famous series by this artist is titled ‘True Beauties’ (‘Shin Bijin’) that showcases Japanese ladies in traditional kimono. Influenced by the rapid changes happening in Japanese society following the Meiji restoration, Chikanobu also produced beauty prints showing ladies in Western clothing, as opposed to kimono.