Toyokuni III Utagawa, The Tale of Genji, Lady Rokujo

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Artist: Toyokuni III Utagawa (1786-1865)
Title: The Tale of Genji - Rokujo
Date: 1856
Size: (L) 35.8x24.7 (C) 35.8x25.3 (R) 35.8x25.3 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

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 publication was illustrated by Kunisada and became so popular that it started a craze for all things Genji. More than 1,300 designs of woodblock prints featuring the hero of the 'Rustic Genji' appeared in the following sixty years, this being one of them.

More Information
Print Format Triptych
Artist Name Toyokuni III Utagawa (Kunisada I)
Title The Tale of Genji - Rokujo
Subject Male & Female, Tattoo
Dimensions (L)35.8x24.7 (C)35.8x25.3 (R)35.8x25.3 cm
Condition Report Some pinholes, poor impression.