Kunisada: Yanagi--Beauty Compared with Willow With Hair Accessories

  • $875.00
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Artist: Utagawa Kunisada 歌川国貞 (1786-1864)
Title: Yanagi (Willow)
Series: A Comparison of Contemporary Flowers 當世はなくらべ (Tosei hana kurabe)
Date: Ca. 1820

From an elegant early Kunisada series that compares beautiful women to flowers. A beauty, still preparing for her day, is wiping a hair comb before putting it back into a folding container that contains hair accessories. We see a brush, scissors, pomade (?) and a large needle and thread that would have been used in securing the style or ornaments. The woman is bent over in a way that echoes the willow branch in the cartouche that is bending strongly to the left. In Japan the comparison with the willow is that it is resilient, and bends beneath the weight of heavy snow but does not break. The hairstyles that the women would have had to keep immaculate must have required a great deal of attention and upkeep. Here we get a glimpse of some of the preparation that a woman would undergo as part of her beauty routine. 

Early Kunisada prints like this one that are signed “Gototei” are considered the artist’s finest work.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition.  A hinging remnant and ink notation is verso.
Dimensions: ôban 37 x 25.2 cm
Publisher: Omiya Heihachi
Signature: Gototei Kunisada ga