Yoshitoshi 芳年: Cooling off at Shijo 四条納涼 (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) 芳年
Title: Cooling off at Shijo 四条納涼 Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1885

In the heat of midsummer in Kyoto we see a young beauty dipping her foot into the cool of the Kamo River. The hottest time of the year would be what is now July, and during the full moon there was a celebration called “cooling off on Shijo riverbank”, Shijogawara no suzumi. At that time wooden benches were set in the river shallows for guests of teahouses and restaurants to refresh themselves. Here we see a young waitress carefully dipping one foot in the water, perhaps cooling her feet after a long day of work. She wears a summer robe with a pattern of chidori, plovers, and her red under-robe peeks out. She has a towel thrown across one shoulder and a lantern rests nearby, it bears the crest of her teahouse. Her head is angled towards the full moon, which here is glowing a soft pink, and her foot can be seen through the clear water, resting lightly on the river bottom. One of Yoshitoshi’s finest bijin-ga, this is an extremely early impression, finer than the example shown in Stevenson, and finer than the British Museum example. 

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. 
Dimensions: ôban 35.6 x 24 cm
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Literature: John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi’s One Hundred Aspects of the Moon (San Francisco: San Francisco Graphic Society, 1992), number11. See British Museum, Portland Art Museum, Library of Congress, Yale University Art Gallery, RISD museum collections.
Seal: Taiso
Signature: Yoshitoshi