Kunisada: Bokusai Kadai Tipsy Beauty Carrying Shamisen

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Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865)
Title: Flower-Viewing terrace on the Sumida River 墨水花台 (Bokusai kadai).
Series: One Hundred Beautiful Women at Famous Places in Edo 江戸名所百人美女 Edo Meisho Hyakunin Bijjo
Date: 1857

A musician seems to be tipsily dancing herself towards home following an alcohol-fueled event, her shamisen carried on her shoulder and a towel draped over her hair. Her left arm is held out in a dancing position, and it seems unusual for a woman to carry her instrument in this too-casual position, with the soundbox over her shoulder. Within the inset cartouche we see a high embankment lined with blooming cherry trees that has what must be a terrific view of the Sumida River. Pleasure boats seem to load passengers in front, so perhaps this woman was a musician for a party on one of the boats or a party in one of the restaurants along the shore. To the right seem to be large containers of sake, with the name of the brewery prominently written on the large barrel.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.  Untrimmed; no backing.
Dimensions: ôban (36.8 x 24.8 cm)
Signature: Toyokuni ga