Kunisada: Prince Genji and the Beauty Yugao (Tasogare) with Morning Glories (SOLD)
Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865)
Title: Prince Genji and the Beauty Yugao (Tasogare) with Morning Glories
Series Title: Copied Pictures of an Edo Purple Eastern Capital (Edomurasaki azuma no utushi-e)
Chapter 4 in the Tale of Genji is titled “Yûgao”, named after both the flowering vine that grows on the rustic gate outside of her home as well as the woman herself. Here we see a beauty, perhaps Yugao, at the entrance of her home at right, her fan filled with freshly picked morning glories. She offers it to Genji’s (Mitsuuji’s) retainer Korekichi, who reaches for them at center. To the left we see prince Genji fanning himself as he waits by his palanquin, clouds framing the scene above and below. Wind blows in the willows behind him, so perhaps he is fanning himself in anticipation or to hide his excitement. Although here we see what look plainly to be morning glories, the yugao plant is actually a bright green vine with white flowers, in English known as bottle gourd or calabash. As this triptych is based on the popular 19th C. Rustic Genji story, which riffs on the classic Genji tale, here the beauty is named Tasogare and the storyline is even more dramatic than in the original tale.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Untrimmed, unbacked and unfaded: mint.
Dimensions: ôban triptych (36.5 x 76.5 cm)
Publisher: Sanoya Kihei
Signature: Kôchôrô Toyokuni ga