Hiroshige 広重: Beauty with Umbrella in Snow (SOLD) (Mitate ukifune) 隅田川の渡 見立浮ふね
Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige 広重 (1797-1858)
Title: Parody of the Ukifune Chapter: Ferry on the Sumida River. (Mitate Ukifune, Sumidagawa no watashi) 隅田川の渡 見立浮ふね
Series: Edo murasaki meisho genji 江戸むらさき名所源氏
Parody of the Ukifune Chapter: Ferry on the Sumida River. (Mitate Ukifune, Sumidagawa no watashi) 隅田川の渡 見立浮ふね. Hiroshige designed only a few prints with the Genji theme, as this extremely popular subject seems to have been the domain of Kunisada, who became something of a specialist with hundreds of designs to his name. Only five prints were completed of this series. Here there is a humorous comparison with the Ukifune chapter, whose name means “A Boat Cast Adrift”, which relates to a beautiful young noblewoman who at one point jumps from a boat, but is rescued. Hiroshige here makes reference to the original Genji story by placing the “gold”-flecked cloud elements at top and bottom, as well as a shell at upper right that must reference the Genji shell-matching game. We see a beautiful woman bundled up against the winter cold, holding up her half-open umbrella against the heavy snowfall. She is on a ferry boat on the Sumida River, and we see only the umbrellas of two other passengers next to her. In the distance is a beautiful, snow-covered Hiroshige landscape, complete with a man poling a log raft and three birds. The snow comes down in clusters which blend with the clusters of gold-imitating flecks at the top and bottom, and the beauty’s umbrella is partially blanketed in snow. A perfectly unfaded example. A scarce design, especially in this condition.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Small repairs in lower cloud, less obtrusive than shows in scan.
Dimensions: ôban 36.6 x 24.9 cm
Publisher: Ibaya Kyubei
Literature:Rijksmuseum; Chazen (poor condition; trimmed), Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art, Allen Memorial Art Museum (Oberlin).
Signature: Hiroshige ga