Hiroshige II and Toyokuni III Utagawa, Prince Genji, Snow in the Garden, Mount Fuji

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Hiroshige II Utagawa (1826-1869) and Toyokuni III Utagawa (1786-1864)
Title: Snow in the Garden
Publisher: Aito
Date: 1859
Size: (L)24.2 x 35.7 (C)23.8 x 35.7 (R)23.8 x 35.7 cm
Condition: Wormholes restored, trimmed, paper residue on the back, tear restored on the left panel.

Written in the 11th century by the noble woman Murasaki Shikibu, 'The Tale of Genji' shows the pastimes and customs of the imperial elite that are described in detail, giving readers an insight to the distinct court culture of the Heian period (794-1185).

In the Edo period (1603-1868), 'The Tale of Genji' was imagined and reimagined countless times. In both archaic and contemporary forms, the story had been relocated from the old capital of Kyoto to the new audience Edo. A key proponent to the reinvigoration of this classic tale was the extremely popular serialisation of Ryutei Tanehiko's (1783-1842) illustrated book False Murasaki and a Rural Genji, a loose adaptation that interwove contemporary culture to the original plot.

The two artists, Hiroshige II and Toyokuni III, greatly renowned in their respective fields of landscape and kabuki prints, join together to carry on the genre of modern Genji rendition in this print. Collaborations between artists were common during this period and were done largely with political purpose as a way to show solidarity between artists in the face of increased government censorship.

More Information
Print Format Triptych
Artist Name Toyokuni III Utagawa (Kunisada I)
Title Snow in the Garden
Subject Male & Female, Kimono Design
Dimensions (L)24.2 x 35.7 (C)23.8 x 35.7 (R)23.8 x 35.7 cm
Condition Report Wormholes restored, trimmed, paper residue on the back, tear restored on the left panel.