Utamaro: Matsukaze and two other beauties fan print
Artist: Kitagawa Utamaro
Title: Matsukaze and two other beauties
Series: “Comparison of Beauties and Kyôka: An Offering during a Display of Temple Treasures” (kaichô hônô kyôka bijin awase)
In the center: Matsukaze stands in the setting of “Shiokumi” at Suma Bay where Arihara no Yukihira met two sisters, Matsukaze and Murasame, who came to collect the sea water. A fishing net hangs down diagonally, on which one of her pails to collect the sea water is placed. Matsukaze wears koshimino, straw skirts and stands in front of a tall matsu pine tree. Plovers are flying above her head. The accompanied kyoka poem describes her sad situation, referring to a wet dress. On the right :A short-sleeved kimono with a cherry blossom design hangs on a rack. A courtesan stands behind the rack, turning her head toward Matsukaze in the center. The kyoka poem by Mamioka Sakae describes her frail life, referring to fragrance of scented wood . On the left: A beauty looks down in front of the Nachi waterfall, holding her straw traveling hat, on which a character “take” is written. The kyoka poem describes the tears of a woman in love, referring to the Nachi waterfall. This series is known for Utamaro’s skillful compositions, placing three famous beauties on each fan. They are done in yellow. In this print the heads of the beauties are placed diagonally; both sides of this fan are closed in vertical elements, the waterfall and the hanging kimono whereas the diagonal nets connects the both sides. So far Yoshida found three prints of this series, which he considers to be the best fan prints by Utamaro.( Yoshida Eiji: “Ukiyoe jiten” 1965). Incredibly rare, possibly the only copy of this design.
Dimensions: uchiwa-e (fan print)
Publisher: seal: Kanae-Chu
Literature: See Asano & Clark (1995) for two other designs from this series, one bearing the same large seal at the bottom (numbers 218 and 219, page 119).
Signature: Utamaro hitsu